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Martin Dean, Robbing the Jews: The Confiscation of Jewish Property in the Holocaust, 1933-1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Reviewed by Jürgen Lillteicher 78

George Last, After the ‘Socialist Spring’: Collectivisation and Economic Transformation in the GDR (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2009)

Reviewed by Katja M. Guenther

Anton Kaes, Shell Shock Cinema: Weimar Culture and the Wounds of War. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009).

Reviewed by Larson Powell

Y. Michal Bodemann, ed., The New German Jewry and the European Context: The Return of the European Jewish Diaspora (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)

Reviewed by Miriam Intrator

Noah Isenberg, ed., Weimar Cinema: An Essential Guide to Classic Films of the Era (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008)

Reviewed by Ofer Ashkenazi

Anika Leithner, Shaping German Foreign Policy. History, Memory, and National Interest (Boulder and London: First Forum Press, 2009)

Reviewed by Helge F. Jani

David Bloxham, The Final Solution: A Genocide. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009)

Reviewed by Jutta A. Helm

Joyce Marie Mushaben, The Changing Face of Citizenship: Integration and Mobilization among Ethnic Minorities in Germany (New York: Berghahn Books, 2008)

Reviewed by Randall Hansen

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Of Shadow-Play and Promised Lands

Between America and Israel – Interview with Clive Sinclair

Axel Stähler and Clive Sinclair

In 1983, Clive Sinclair (b. 1948) was named one of Granta's twenty 'Best of Young British Novelists'. He is the author of four collections of short stories: Hearts of Gold (1979), Bedbugs (1982) and The Lady with the Laptop and Other Stories (1996), which have won – or been short-listed for – literary prizes, including the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Dylan Thomas Award and the PEN Silver Pen. His latest collection, Death & Texas, was published by Peter Halban in February 2014 and long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. As well as those books he has produced ten others, among them the novels Bibliosexuality (1973), Blood Libels (1985), Cosmetic Effects (1989), Augustus Rex (1992) and Meet the Wife (2002), as well as a biography of The Brothers Singer (1983) and a travel book, Diaspora Blues: A View of Israel (1987). Sinclair's idiosyncratic work largely defies easy categorization, yet it is suffused with Jewish concerns; it is arresting, provocative and unapologetic as well as tragically farcical. His is an important voice in British Jewish literature which has always resisted the lure of cheap conformity.

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Jonathan Magonet

The year 2014 marked the formal celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the International Student Conference of the Standing Conference of Jews, Christians and Muslims in Europe, JCM for short. The longest-running such ‘trialogue’ programme in Europe, it developed out of the initiative of Rabbi Lionel Blue and Pastor Winfried Maechler in the period before the outbreak of the Six-Day War. They argued that beyond the political entities of Israel and the Arab States were the three great monotheistic religions, and surely within them were the necessary spiritual resources to create reconciliation. What was particularly imaginative was the aim to organize a conference for ‘theology students’ of the three faiths, future leaders of their respective communities who would bring to their congregational responsibilities interfaith perspectives, experience and values, as well as a network of colleagues from the other faiths to work with. From its inception the aim was to work primarily within the European context, recognizing very early the growth of Muslim communities and the need for their integration. An early decision was made not to address the Middle East conflict directly but only insofar as it impacted on the local diaspora communities.

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Richard G. Hirsch

The ninetieth anniversary of the World Union enables us to highlight our achievements. In 1973 we moved the international headquarters from New York to Jerusalem and built a magnificent cultural/educational centre there. We pioneered the development of a dynamic Reform/Progressive movement in Israel consisting of congregations, kibbutzim, an Israel religious action centre and educational, cultural and youth programmes. We became active leaders in the Jewish Agency for Israel and the World Zionist Organization. We established synagogues and educational programmes in the Former Soviet Union, Europe, Latin America and the Far East, thus fulfilling our mandate to perpetuate Jewish life wherever Jews live. We formulated an ideology of Reform Zionism as an antidote to the contracting Jewish identity induced by contemporary diaspora conditions. Whereas we encourage aliyah for Jews who want to live in Israel, we are adamantly opposed to those who advocate aliyah as a positive response to anti-Semitism. Instead, we demand that European democracies guarantee equal rights and full security to Jews as well as to all other groups in society.

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Le Dernier des Justes

A Jewish Child's Apprenticeship of 'The Impossibility of Being a Jew'

Kathleen Gyssels

Although The Last of the Just was awarded the Prix Goncourt in 1959, the novel and its author have been forgotten. The accusations of plagiarism were such a hard offence to the Polish-Francophone author that he nearly stopped writing as a Jew and a (although oblique) witness of the Shoah. He turned to another Diaspora in his subsequent novel, La Mulâtresse Solitude (1972) and published novels with his Guadeloupean wife Simone Schwarz-Bart in which the Shoah and slavery are intertwined. In this article, I revisit The Last of the Just, which is a masterpiece because, as a hybrid form, it combines lamentation and encyclopaedic narrative, Talmudic legend and Yiddish folktales, marvellous realism and Borgesian 'journalism'. I illustrate how Schwarz-Bart's chronicle of centuries of anti-Semitism in eight European countries offers a vast chronicle 'preparing' for Auschwitz and how his dynasty of the Lévy family, elected as being the Lamed-Vov, sheds light on the unbearable tragedy and the urgent necessity to reclaim and to remember the events of the 'Last of the Just Man', killed six million times.

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Books for the Masses

The Amsterdam Yiddish Book Industry, 1650–1800

Shlomo Berger

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Amsterdam functioned as the European printing centre of Yiddish books. Texts in the Ashkenazi vernacular were published in the city for the benefit of the local reading public, and these books were also distributed throughout the Ashkenazi diaspora, in central and eastern Europe. Two basic guidelines directed the work of Yiddish book agents in Amsterdam: printing was considered a service to Ashkenazim and their communities: nevertheless, printing of Yiddish books also needed to be a commercially sustainable project. Therefore, books dealing with religion, tradition and didactical literature comprised the majority of the printed output. These were considered as practical (printed in Yiddish for the benefit of the masses who could not read Hebrew) and thus their production also included a commercial logic. Between circa 1650 and 1800 more than 500 Yiddish books were published, including texts in various genres. The modernization process that encompassed Jewish communities in Western Europe also signalled the downfall of Yiddish book production in Amsterdam, and the end of a period of Yiddish literature composed and published in West Yiddish, a dialect that was pushed aside by the emerging Eastern European, modern, Yiddish.

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Phillip Vannini, Nanny Kim, Lisa Cooke, Giovanna Mascheroni, Jad Baaklini, Ekaterina Fen, Elisabeth Betz, Federico Helfgott, Giuseppina Pellegrino, Reiner Ruppmann and Alfred C. Mierzejewski

Tim Ingold, Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description; Tim Ingold (ed.), Redrawing Anthropology: Materials, Movements, Lines; Tim Ingold and Jo Lee Vergunst (eds.), Ways of Walking: Ethnography and Practice on Foot Phillip Vannini

Tom Standage, A History of the World in 6 Glasses Nanny Kim

Simone Fullagar, Kevin W. Markwell, and Erica Wilson (eds.), Slow Tourism: Experiences and Mobilities Lisa Cooke

Jennie Germann Molz, Travel Connections: Tourism, Technology and Togetherness in a Mobile World Giovanna Mascheroni

Hazel Andrews and Les Roberts (eds.), Liminal Landscapes: Travel, Experience and Spaces In-between Jad Baaklini

Les Roberts, Film, Mobility and Urban Space: A Cinematic Geography of Liverpool Ekaterina Fen

Helen Lee and Steve Tupai Francis (eds.), Migration and Transnationalism: Pacific Perspectives Elisabeth Betz

David Pedersen, American Value: Migrants, Money and Meaning in El Salvador and the United States Federico Helfgott

Leopoldina Fortunati, Raul Pertierra and Jane Vincent (eds.), Migration, Diaspora, and Information Technology in Global Societies Giuseppina Pellegrino

Daniel Flückinger, Strassen für alle: Infrastrukturpolitik im Kanton Bern 1790-1850 Reiner Ruppmann

Richard Vahrenkamp, The Logistic Revolution: The Rise of Logistics in the Mass Consumption Society Alfred C. Mierzejewski

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Estella Carpi, Sandy F. Chang, Kristy A. Belton, Katja Swider, Naluwembe Binaisa, Magdalena Kubal-Czerwińska and Jessie Blackbourn

THE MYTH OF SELFRELIANCE: Economic Lives Inside a Liberian Refugee Camp. Naohiko Omata. New York: Berghahn Books, 2017. 194 pages, ISBN 9781785335648 (hardback).

DIASPORA’S HOMELAND: Modern China in the Age of Global Migration. Shelly Chan. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018. 280 pages, ISBN 9780822370420 (hardback), 9780822370543 (paperback).

NONCITIZENISM: Recognising Noncitizen Capabilities in a World of Citizens. Tendayi Bloom. New York: Routledge, 2018. 222 pages, ISBN 9781138049185 (hardback).

PROTECTING STATELESS PERSONS: The Implementation of the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons across EU States. Katia Bianchini. Brill Nijhof: Leiden, 2018. 382 pages, ISBN 9789004362901 (hardback).

HOPE AND UNCERTAINTY IN CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN MIGRATION. Nauja Kleist, and Thorsen Dorte, eds. New York: Routledge, 2017. 200 pages, ISBN 9781138961210 (hardback).

THE IMPACT OF MIGRATION ON POLAND: EU Mobility and Social Change. Anne White, Izabela Grabowska, Paweł Kaczmarczyk, and Krystyna Slany. London: UCL University Press, 2018. 276 pages, ISBN 9781787350687 (open access PDF).

UNLEASHING THE FORCE OF LAW: Legal Mobilization, National Security, and Basic Freedoms. Devyani Prabhat. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 225 pages, ISBN 9781137455741 (hardback), ISBN 9781349928118 (paperback).

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The Art of Losing One's Own Culture Isn't Hard to Master, It's Obviation

Roy Wagner, Gregory Bateson, and the Art of Science Writ Large

Elizabeth Stassinos

Like Gregory Bateson, Roy Wagner leaves no heirs. This is not the curse of Souw, but the curse of original thinking. Like Bateson though, Wagner has bequeathed to a future anthropology a certain style of thinking about Others, an elegant way of dislocating the Western self from its routines, its kinships, its ego, its diaspora. In this paper, and as a student of Wagner’s at Virginia in the 1980s and 1990s, I hope to trace some of Wagner’s work through Bateson’s and to compare some of the habits of mind of these two ethnographers and theorists and relate these back to The Invention of Culture. If I seem to forget that text in places or re-start it in others, it is because I have tried to stay close to that topic that led both in such opposite (one could say complementary schizmogenic) directions, one to biological sciences, the other to science fiction. I section off observations on their ethnographic theory by using poetry to express shifts in topics for, at their best, Wagner and Bateson are poets of that extreme human condition so sought after by ethnographers, culture shock.

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Migrants, mobility, and mobilization

Pauline Gardiner Barber and Winnie Lem

This issue brings together the work of researchers who seek to illuminate the class configurations of contemporary global diasporas. Contributions proceed by problematizing the relationship between political mobilization and the class locations of women and men as they negotiate and renegotiate the social conditions under which they make a living as émigrés, people who are subject to and participants in the processes of global change. Although class and culture, as well as mobility and fixity, are often presented as oppositional lenses though which to view global transformations, articles in this issue explore the possibilities for translation of particularized local or cultural concerns into broader collective mobilizations of class activism, nationalist claims, or struggles for entitlement in the circumscribed political spaces migrants seek to create. The gender, ethnic, local, national, and other cultural components of identity and class formation are made explicit as contributors question how and why political struggles and activism may, or indeed may not, be carried forward in geographic and social border crossings as well as citizenship and migration scenarios. It is the contention of each contributor that any instance of activism, and also its absence, requires sustained critical examination of the politics and economics of its production and reproduction.