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Jews and Port Cities, 1590-1990 - Commerce, Community and Cosmopolitanism

Cesarani, David

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ISBN 10: 0853036810 / ISBN 13: 9780853036814
Published by Vallentine Mitchell, United Kingdom, 2006
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Title: Jews and Port Cities, 1590-1990 - Commerce, ...

Publisher: Vallentine Mitchell, United Kingdom

Publication Date: 2006

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

About this title


With studies of Jewish communities in port cities ranging from sixteenth century Livorno to modern Singapore, this book develops and extends the concept of the port Jew using a blend of conceptual innovation and original research. The first section explores the world of the Sephardi Jews, revealing patterns of mobility and networks that intertwined commerce, community and kinship. Individual case histories based on Livorno, Amsterdam, CuraƧao, Charleston, Liverpool, and Bristol examine how Jewish identity was formed in the unique milieu of the cosmopolitan maritime trading centre, how the commercial ethos of the bustling port promoted tolerance, and how the experience of civic inclusion was both a boon and a threat to Jewish life and culture. Challenging research on Charleston and Liverpool shows how slavery cast a shadow over the Jewish population and created an environment of racialized identities in which Jews occupied an ambiguous and ambivalent position. The second section concentrates on the experience of Ashkenazi Jews in the modern era, when the port was less a commercial hub for exchange and more a location of production, transhipment, and transmigration. Jews went from being primarily settlers and traders to becoming commodities in the business of mass migration. A disturbing case study of Hamburg under the Nazis shows that a history of diversity was no guarantor of tolerance. Yet research on Glasgow, with its ethnic and religious fragmentation, shows how far Jews and non Jews in port cities could get along functionally and amicably. All these contributions explore the concepts of diaspora and identity, probe the links between commerce and inter-communal relations, and map the subtle, shifting contours of language, culture, and community in the unique mercantile environment in the world's greatest ports.

About the Author:

David Cesarani is Professor of Twentieth-century Jewish History and Culture, University of Southhampton, and Director of the Wiener Library, London. He has just published a biography of Arthur Koestler.
Dr. Randolph Braham is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Sciences at the City College and the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of new York. He is the author of many scholarly monographs, including the highly acclaimed "The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary."
Gemma Romain works at The National Archives, Kew on a Heritage Lottery Fund project called 'Your Caribbean Heritage', cataloguing and researching colonial office original correspondence from the British Caribbean. She is the author of 'Connecting Histories: A Comparative Exploration of African-Caribbean and Jewish History and Memory in Modern Britain', to be published by Kegan Paul in autumn 2005. Previously, she carried out her Ph.D. at the Parkes Institute, University of Southampton, where she compared and analysed ethnic memories and histories of African-Caribbean and Jewish communities in modern Britain. Her postdoctoral fellowship at the AHRB Parkes Centre explored diasporic and ethnic identities of Jews inthe Atlantic world. She wasalso a researcher and writer for the 'Connections: Hidden British Histories' project, a historical exhibition exploring Asian, Caribbean, and Jewish history in Britain.Additionally, she is a committee member of the Society for Caribbean Studies [UK].

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