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Reading Jewish Women Marginality and Modernization in Nineteenth-Century Eastern European Jewish Society

ISBN-10: 1584653671
ISBN-13: 9781584653677
Edition: 2004
Authors: Iris Parush
List price: $29.95
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Description: In this extraordinary volume, Iris Parush opens up the hitherto unexamined world of literate Jewish women, their reading habits, and their role in the cultural modernization of Eastern European Jewish society in the nineteenth century. Parush makes  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: University Press of New England
Publication date: 4/1/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

In this extraordinary volume, Iris Parush opens up the hitherto unexamined world of literate Jewish women, their reading habits, and their role in the cultural modernization of Eastern European Jewish society in the nineteenth century. Parush makes a paradoxical claim: she argues that because Jewish women were marginalized and neglected by rabbinical authorities who regarded men as the bearers of religious learning, they were free to read secular literature in German, Yiddish, Polish, and Russian. As a result of their exposure to a wealth of literature, these reading women became significant conduits for Haskalah (Enlightenment) ideas and ideals within the Jewish community. This deceptively simple thesis dramatically challenges and revamps both scholarly and popular notions of Jewish life and learning in nineteenth-century Eastern Europe. While scholars of European women's history have been transforming and complicating ideas about the historical roles of middle-class women for some time, Parush is among the first scholars to work exclusively in Jewish territory. The book will be a very welcome introduction to many facets of modern Jewish cultural history--particularly the role of women--which have too long been ignored.

Reading Women and the Sprit of Jewish Enlightenment
Language, Literacy, and Literature as the Battleground of Haredim and Maskilim
Gender Roles and Women's "Window of Opportunity"
The Benefit of Marginality: Gender Differences in the Traditional Educational System
"A Women Prides Herself on Cooing and Prattling in French and German": The Secular Education of Women
The Reading-Biography of Men
"This Whole Trouble Is the Fault of the Little Story Books": Women Who Read Yiddish
"A Hebrew Maiden, Yet Acting Alien": Women Who Read European Languages
"One in a Thousand": Women and the Hebrew Language
Hebrew
Man's Apparatus or Woman's Apparel?

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