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Consumer Culture and the Making of Modern Jewish Identity
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    Consumer Culture and the Making of Modern Jewish Identity
    • Online ISBN: 9780511894893
    • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9780511894893
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Book description

Antisemitic stereotypes of Jews as capitalists have hindered research into the economic dimension of the Jewish past. The figure of the Jew as trader and financier dominated the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. But the economy has been central to Jewish life and the Jewish image in the world; Jews not only made money but spent money. This book is the first to investigate the intersection between consumption, identity, and Jewish history in Europe. It aims to examine the role and place of consumption within Jewish society and the ways consumerism generated and reinforced Jewish notions of belonging from the end of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the new millennium. It shows how the advances of modernization and secularization in the modern period increased the importance of consumption in Jewish life, making it a significant factor in the process of redefining Jewish identity.

Reviews

‘Moving beyond the stereotypes, this brilliant, wide-ranging, innovative, meticulously researched and very readable history of how Jews were targeted as consumers and Jewish consumer practices sheds new light on Jews' relation to modernity. Reuveni takes the reader from Europe to the United States and Israel, showing how buying, or refusing to buy, goods had political, social and cultural consequences.'

Leora Auslander - University of Chicago

‘In this pioneering book Gideon Reuveni rereads the history of Jewish life in Weimar Germany from the fresh perspective of consumerism, with an eye toward how daily habits of getting, spending, eating and furnishing were inseparable from larger questions of belonging, integration and exclusion amid the tumultuous conditions of interwar Germany.'

Paul Betts - St Anthony's College, Oxford

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