This article deals with one of the most productive manifestations of Sephardi letters of the second third of the 19th century: The Judeo Spanish press. The contribution is divided into two parts. In the first, we will offer a broad view of the Judeo Spanish press, indicating its origins, its development and periodization and its importance for the modernization process of the Sephardi community of the Ottoman Empire. In the second part, the undeniable influence of the Judeo-Spanish press on different manifestations of Sephardi life will be illustrated, starting from the two newspapers La Época and El Avenir, published in Thessaloniki – the centre of the Sephardi print production, especially as far as the press is concerned. At a socio-historical level, the press functions as a medium, which forms public opinion; at the level of letters and linguistics, and as a new textual and discursive reality, the press genres play a fundamental role in the development of the modern Judeo Spanish.
Popular public opinion concerning the Jewish community of Latvia is that it is an 'exemplary and well-organised community', which experienced a great revival and has functioned efficiently since Perestroika and particularly since the fall of the USSR. Nevertheless, this assertion can be countered by multiple phenomena, such as the dramatic decrease of the number of Latvian Jewish community members, the abrupt increase of inter-marriages, and the clear transformation of references to self-identification of Latvian Jewry. This article seeks to shed light on different spheres of the Jewish life in post-communist Latvia, in order to analyse the impact of the demise of the Soviet system on the Jewish community in this area.
The Deteriorating Image of the United States, 2000-2004
What do the French think of Americans and the United States? This is a grand question whose answer reveals a crucial dimension of the current tension in Franco-American relations. It is also a question that can be answered reasonably well. Transatlantic troubles have stirred interest in ascertaining the state of public opinion. The result is an extraordinary number of comprehensive surveys conducted over the last five years. The US Department of State, for example, has systematically monitored French attitudes. So have many French and American polling agencies like SOFRES, CSA, and the Pew Center. Foundations like the French-American Foundation and the German Marshall Fund of the US have also sponsored research. Between fifteen and twenty thousand Frenchmen and women have recorded their opinion in such surveys. This evidence provides a unique opportunity for research into how the man- or woman-in-the-street views the United States.
William Collins Donahue, Holocaust as Fiction: Bernhard Schlink's “Nazi“ Novels and Their Films(New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
Reviewed by Margaret McCarthy
Theodor W. Adorno, Guilt and Defense: On the Legacies of National Socialism in Postwar Germany, edited, translated, and introduced by Jeffrey K. Olick and Andrew J. Perrin (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010)
Reviewed by Gregory R. Smulewicz-Zucker
Friedrich Pollock, Theodor W. Adorno, and Colleagues, Group Experiment and other Writings: The Frankfurt School on Public Opinion in Postwar Germany, edited and translated by Andrew J. Perrin and Jeffrey K. Olick (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011).
Reviewed by Jan Boesten
Gabriele Mueller and James M. Skidmore, eds. Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria(Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012).
Reviewed by Sabine von Mering
Christopher J. Fischer, Alsace to the Alsatians? Visions and Divisions of Alsatian Regionalism, 1870-1939(New York: Berghahn Books, 2010)
Reviewed by Jennifer A. Yoder
The French monarchy's determination to suspend the trading rights of the Compagnie des Indes in 1769 stimulated a lively public debate over the establishment of commercial liberty in the Indies trade. Since mid-century, Vincent de Gournay and his disciples had advocated increased liberty in French commerce, and the Compagnie des Indes' privileged trading monopoly offered a tempting target for these reformers. Working on behalf of the ministry, the abbé Morellet undertook the task of convincing public opinion of the benefits that liberty of commerce in the Indies trade would bring to France. However, the company's principal banker Jacques Necker and physiocrat Pierre-Samuel Dupont raised serious doubts concerning both the feasibility and the value of such reform. These critiques challenged any expectation that commercial liberty would increase French strength in the Indies trade or contest British political hegemony in India after the Seven Years' War.
In what follows, we look at American opinion on France over 30 years’ time, as conveyed by several opinion polls. Granted that public opinion is an artefact, there are nonetheless phenomena that can only be grasped by quantitative studies that reflect the respondents’ modes of thought, values, beliefs, patterns of representation and attitudes, as elicited by a question posed at a specific time.1 Moreover, by looking at a number of subgroups we can avoid the implication that “(all) Americans think X or Y about France.” Furthermore, the evolution of the answers to similar questions can be as informative as the answers themselves, since it teaches us about changes or continuities in American society’s attitudes.
In 2006, the energy question—and in particular the natural gas emergency
that will be discussed here—was brought to the attention of
public opinion, of political and economic debate, and of the electoral
contest. First, it needs to be made clear that on both sides, and within
the two coalitions, demagoguery prevailed over pragmatism. Similarly,
the propensity to demonize the proposals of opponents tended
to hold sway over attempts to contribute constructively to the discussion.
Thus, a game of mutual vetoes and false propositions took place,
characterized by erroneous diagnoses aimed solely at avoiding the
electoral costs that the required choices would have imposed. This
had the inevitable result of confusing public opinion, which should
be aware of the issue, and feeding the general “right of veto,” which,
since before the reform of Title V of the Constitution, has allowed
anyone to prevent others from doing anything—with the result that
Art and Political Crises in Between the Acts
Jane de Gay
In ‘Why Art Follows Politics’, published in The Daily Worker in 1936, Virginia Woolf remarked on a change in the conditions for creativity in the late 1930s. She wrote that the artist’s studio was now ‘far from being a cloistered spot where he can contemplate his model or his apple in peace’, for it was ‘besieged by voices, all disturbing, some for one reason, some for another.’ She characterised the developing political crisis in terms of auditory disturbance or interruption, including the noises of radio news; the voices of dictators addressing the public by megaphone in the streets, and public opinion, which, Woolf wrote, called for artists to prove their social and political usefulness. In extreme political systems, artists were forced to compromise and use their work for political purposes – to ‘celebrate fascism; celebrate communism’ – in order to be allowed to practise at all.
1972 saw the coming to fruition of two events of major importance to the Federal Republic of Germany under Willy Brandt's leadership: the normalization of relations with the Soviet Union and its satellites through the process of Ostpolitik, and the Munich Olympic Games, which were designed to present a new Germany on the world stage. Although recent scholarship has highlighted the intricacies of East-West diplomacy and the political machinations of Cold-War sports relations, there have been few attempts to investigate the latter's role in the former. This essay seeks to investigate sport in the context of politics, and more vitally vice versa. Focusing on events in the immediate run-up to the Four Powers Treaty on West Berlin in 1971, it shows how sport's appeal to broad sectors of public opinion in Eastern and Western Europe made it a prime candidate for the cultural warfare that accompanied political negotiations.
Marc Morjé Howard
This article puts the 1999 German Nationality Act into a comparative European perspective. By applying a common measure of the relative restrictiveness or inclusiveness of a country's citizenship policy to the countries of the EU-15 at two different time periods, it provides an analysis of change both within and across countries. From this perspective, Germany has clearly moved "up" from having the single most restrictive law before the 1999 reform to a more moderate policy today. Yet Germany's major "liberalizing change" was also tempered by a significant "restrictive backlash." The German case therefore provides support for a broader theoretical argument about the potential for mobilized anti-immigrant public opinion to nullify the liberalization that often occurs within the realm of elite politics.