How was Jewish life affected by the First World War? How did Jews around the world understand, engage with, and influence the Great War and surrounding events? And why has the impact of World War I so often overlooked Jewish historical narratives? In this fascinating and important new edited volume, World War I and the Jews: Conflict and Transformation in Europe, the Middle East, and America
(Berghahn Books, 2017), Marsha L. Rozenblit
, the Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Modern Jewish History at the University of Maryland, and Jonathan Karp
, Associate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at Binghamton University, have assembled a diverse collection of impressive studies by junior and senior scholars that, taken together, answer these crucial questions. The essays in this volume work against past scholarship that has either glossed past the First World War as unimportant to understanding Jewish history, or teleologically characterized it as a precursor to the devastation of World War II and the Holocaust. Examining the conflict from a long chronological perspective and broad, global lens, the authors successfully argue that the Great War and the events surrounding it speak to deeply researched trends in Jewish Studies in new and exciting ways. Thematic threads like belonging, identity, citizenship, and transnational connections weave together case studies examining the Jewish experience in New York, Paris, Salonika, Baghdad, and beyond. This very welcome addition to Jewish historiography, and literature on the global experience of the First World War more generally, is not to be missed.
Robin Buller is a PhD Candidate in History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.