Recent book titles from Vallentine Mitchell
The following are a selection of recent titles from Vallentine Mitchell:
Jewish Nobel Prize Winners
With a Foreword by Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
For those of us who have dedicated our lives to the idea that opportunity and success should never be limited by either an individual’s background or the prejudice of others, the story of the Jewish Nobel laureates is truly inspiring.
Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Biographical chapters on all the prize-winning men and women including their backgrounds and the work for which they received the awards
Jews make up 0.2% of the worlds’ population, yet they have won over 20% of the Nobel prizes – 204 in total out of around 900 awarded since the first Laureates at the start of the 20th century. When one considers that Jews weren’t even admitted to University in Britain until the 1820s, and were on a quota at some American Ivy League colleges until after the Second World War, their successes are truly remarkable. Nobel prizes can be worth up to a million pounds, and it is not surprising there are hundreds of nominations every year in each category. What is the reason for this disparity?
Derek Taylor provides biographical chapters on all the prize-winning men and women, and an additional one on the founder, Alfred Nobel himself. These chapters include their backgrounds and the work for which they received the awards. In addition to this Taylor provides the historical background to the development of scientific research. If physics has previously been a closed book to you, if your knowledge of chemistry is somewhat limited, if you’ve wondered how solutions were discovered for so many previously incurable diseases, you will find the answers clearly and simply explained. The book also covers the Literary, Economics and Peace awards in similar detail. It all makes a fascinating story of how to overcome prejudice, and how to take advantage of ancestry and tradition.
2019 400 pages 200 b/w illus
Hardback: 978 1 910383 89 6 £25.00
Ebook: 978 1 910383 90 2 £25.00
The German Goldschmidts of the 17th and 18th Century
The reader is shown a sense of family and loyalty to their beliefs, despite a repressive environment against which only significant fortune offered protection.
Dagmar Nick, a multiple literary prize-winner in her native Germany, has turned her considerable talents to researching her fascinating Jewish ancestry.
She brings to life her family history through the letters, diaries and documents that they left behind, and shows how despite being excluded from society, forced to earn their livelihoods in ‘unchristian’ trades, and victimised over the centuries they rose through hard work and commitment to family to become not only wealthy, but also indispensible to the nobility as suppliers of luxury wares and as financiers and as advisors. They made it possible for the King of Saxony to gain a crown in Poland, and George I of England benefitted from their financial support.
Nick uses the Goldschmidt archives in Denmark and Glückel von Hameln’s diary (also a relative) to describe their lives on a personal level. She explains the difficulties they faced in business, especially against a background of ostracism, and harsh taxation. They were cheated and suffered for being Jews, but still after each setback they recovered.
The final chapters are much more personal. They show how under more liberal Prussian rule they were allowed to become doctors, lawyers, scientists, and even famous philanthropists such as Lina Morgenstern and Sigismund Asch. Then the descent into the terror of the twentieth century. Despite their prominence in the arts even her own parents were threatened.
Nick describes not only the history of her own complicated family history, but also shows us that many families have similar shadows that can be captured.
2018 224 pages
Paperback: 978 1 910383 93 3 £22.00
Ebook: 978 1 910383 94 0 £22.00
The Impact of Zionism and Israel on Anglo–Jewry’s Identity, 1948–1982
Caught Somewhere Between Zion and Galut
‘Thanks to the might of Israel, even Diaspora Jews can hold their heads up high’; so remarks Tomer in Amos Oz’s 1966 novel Elsewhere, Perhaps. This quotation speaks to the profound impact which Zionism’s successful campaign for Jewish statehood had on the identity of Jews in the Diaspora. However, this impact, though widely acknowledged, remains under-explored.
Using previously unpublished communal sources and an innovative chronological-thematic structure, Omer-Jackaman analyses the effects of Zionism and the State of Israel on the identity of Britain’s Jews between the founding of the Jewish State and the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
Devoutly patriotic, Anglophile Jews insisted upon a separation between Israeli–Jewish and Anglo–Jewish identity in the early years after 1948, and worked hard to remind the community of the dangers of ‘dual loyalty’. Meanwhile, in the late 1950s and 1960s, growing engagement with the Holocaust had a sizeable impact on the way in which British Jews related to the Jewish State; this theme is particularly revelatory given the tendency of scholarship to consider the community rather silent on the genocide of the Jews of Europe during these decades. The community was then affected by a seismic trauma in June 1967 as the Six Day War provoked an apocalyptic dread which soon gave way to an unbridled elation at Israel’s survival, and higher levels of identification with Israel than ever before. This unity was then fractured in the 1970s by the rise of Anglo–Jewish right-wing Zionism, a process of ideological division which reached its height with the rancorous communal splits caused by the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
Throughout the book, and cutting across each of these themes, a picture emerges of the often fraught relationship between Israeli and Anglo–Jewry during the period. Despite British Jews’ close identification with the Jewish State there was a fundamental tension between the two Jewish communities, based on competing and perhaps even irreconcilable visions of Jewish identify after the creation of the State of Israel.
2019 304 pages
Hardback: 978 1 910383 91 9 £50.00
Ebook: 978 1 910383 92 6 £50.00
Jews, Horns and the Devil
An Illustrated History
Cartoons uniting visual representation with cultural associations, can cause devastation. One picture may save a thousand words but we will never know how many hundreds of thousands of lives were not saved, how many millions of lives were not even lived, because of the climate of fear and of hate prompted and promoted by the anti-Semitic pictures of Satanic horned Jews. From the 12th to the 21st century, these cartoons, simplifying and intensifying fears and hatreds, were powerful tools in the spread of anti-Semitism.
These images first appeared in medieval Christianity, reappeared in 19th and 20th century Racialism, Fascism and Marxism and today are part of the visual images of contemporary Islam; four absolutely different belief systems with different life cycles all sharing the exact same indelible meme with its exact same visual expression targeting the exact same expiatory victim. For a thousand years, the power of this fabrication has erased existential realities and, with devastating consequences, the fear generated by the image of the demonised Jew has been reflected onto the real Jew.
Some of the cartoons in this book may shock our sensibilities, to many they are a vital shared social truth, to others a vile experienced reality.
2018 112 pages, 34 colour and 33 b/w illus
Hardback: 978 1 910383 77 3 £25.00
Ebook: 978 1 910383 78 0 £25.00
My Family, The Holocaust and Me
Rosemary Schonfeld grew up as the daughter of a Czech immigrant in post-war UK and Canada, unaware of her father’s Jewish identity and of what really happened to his absent relatives. In adulthood she began to feel compelled to find out whether Relly, who had been married to her father’s brother and survived Auschwitz, was still alive.
Tracing and finding Relly were both significant turning points in Rosemary’s life. Relly was an exceptional person who lived a full, rich life without bitterness despite losing her entire family. She enriched the lives of all who knew her immensely, and Rosemary explains the incredible honour she felt when Relly welcomed her as her ‘long lost niece’. Over a ten year period, from 2000 to Relly’s death in 2010, Rosemary visited her regularly in Sydney. Through conversations with her the author started to understand not only what happened to her father, grandparents and uncles, but also began to understand the many impacts on herself, and therefore others, of being a second-generation Holocaust survivor.
The number of Holocaust survivors is steadily diminishing, and many of the second generation feel a deep responsibility to give the Holocaust a contemporary relevance. Finding Relly explores the impact of the Holocaust in both the past and present, revealing how its insidious presence threatened to completely derail Rosemary’s life.
There is a danger of the Holocaust being relegated to the distant past, Finding Relly will help it keep its contemporary relevance.
2018 224 pages
Paperback: 978 1 912676 03 3 £15.00
Ebook: 978 1 912676 04 0 £15.00