Readings

WEEK # TOPICS READINGS STUDY QUESTIONS
1 The Torah

Alter, Robert. “Genesis,” and “Exodus.” In The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary. New York, NY: Norton, 2004. ISBN: 9780393019551.

Pelikan, Jaroslay. Whose Bible Is It? A History of the Scriptures through the Ages. New York, NY: Viking, 2005. ISBN: 9780670033850.

Scheindlin, Raymond P. A Short History of the Jewish People: from Legendary Times to Modern Statehood. New York, NY: Macmillan, 1998. ISBN: 9780028625867.

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2 The bible as history

Finkelstein, Israel, and Neil Asher Silberman. Prologue, Introduction, and part one in The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. New York, NY: Free Press, 2002, pp. 1-145. ISBN: 9780684869131.

Stager, Lawrence E. “The Patrimonial Kingdom of Solomon.” In Symbiosis, Symbolism, and the Power of the Past: Canaan, Ancient Israel, and Their Neighbors from the Late Bronze Age through Roman Palaestina. Edited by William G. Dever and Seymour Gitin. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2003, pp. 63-74. ISBN: 9781575060811.

Finkelstein, Israel, and Neil Asher Silberman. David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible’s Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition. New York, NY: Free Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780743243636.

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3 Life in biblical Israel

King, Philip J., and Lawrence E. Stager. Life in Biblical Israel. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002, chapters 1-3, pp. 1-200. ISBN: 9780664221485.

Buy at MIT Press Temin, Peter. “Mediterranean Trade in Biblical Times.” Chapter 6 in Eli F. Heckscher, International Trade, and Economic History. Edited by Ronald Findlay, Rolf Henriksson, Håkan Lindgren, and Mats Lundahl. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006, pp. 141-156. ISBN: 9780262062510.

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4 Jewish revolts

Goodman, Martin. Introduction and part one in The Ruling Class of Judaea: The Origins of the Jewish Revolt against Rome, AD 66-70. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1987, pp. 1-133. ISBN: 9780521334013.

Millar, Fergus. “The Background to the Maccabean Revolution: Reflections on Martin Hengel’s ‘Judaism and Hellenism.’” Journal of Jewish Studies 29 (1978): 1-21.

Berlin, Andrea M., and J. Andrew Overman, eds. The First Jewish Revolt: Archaeology, History, and Ideology. New York, NY: Routledge, 2002. ISBN: 9780415257060.

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5 Religious change in Roman times

Hopkins, Keith. A World Full of Gods: Pagans, Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire. London, UK: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1999, chapters 2 and 8, pp. 46-75 and 287-332. ISBN: 9780297819820.

Goodman, Martin. “Trajan and the Origins of Roman Hostility to the Jews.” Past and Present 182 (February 2004): 3-31.

Cohen, Shaye J. D. From the Maccabees to the Mishnah. Louisville, KY: John Knox, 1987. ISBN: 9780664219116.

Steinberg, Milton. As a Driven Leaf. New York, NY: Behrman House, 1996 [1939]. ISBN: 9780874411034.

Klinghoffer, David. Why the Jews Rejected Jesus: the Turning Point in Western History. New York, NY: Doubleday, 2005. ISBN: 9780385510219.

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6 The first millenium and Maimonides

Botticini, Maristella, and Zvi Eckstein. “Jewish Occupational Selection: Education, Restrictions or Minorities?” Journal of Economic History 65 (December 2005): 1-26.

Arbel, Ilil. Maimonides: A Spiritual Biography. New York, NY: Crossroads Publishing, 2001. ISBN: 9780824523596.

Goitein, S. D. Letters of Medieval Jewish Traders. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1974. ISBN: 9780691052120.

Maimonides, Moses. A Maimonides Reader. Edited by Isadore Twersky. New York: Behrman House, 1972. ISBN: 9780874412000.

Kellner, Menachem. Must a Jew Believe Anything? Portland, OR: Vallentine Mitchell, 1999. ISBN: 9781874774495.

Nuland, Sherwin B. Maimonides. New York, NY: Schocken, 2005. ISBN: 9780805242003.

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7 Exam on readings (no readings)  
8 Medieval Jews

Cohen, Mark R. Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994. ISBN: 9780691033785.

Glick, Leonard B. Abraham’s Heirs: Jews and Christians in Medieval Europe. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780585270739.

Cochran, Gregory, Jason Hardy, and Henry Harpending. “Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence.” Journal of Biosocial Science 38 (2005): 659-93.

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9 Early Modern Jewry

Elon, Amos. The Pity of It All: A Portrait of the German-Jewish Epoch, 1743-1933. New York, NY: Picador, 2003, introduction and chapters 1-8. ISBN: 9780312422813.

Peretz, I. L. “The Shtraymel” [1894], and “If Not Higher” [1900]. In Classic Yiddish Stories. Edited by Ken Frieden. Translated by Ken Frieden, Ted Gorelick, and Michael Wex. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2004, pp. 137-46 and 158-62. ISBN: 9780815607601.

Davis, Natalie Z. “Arguing with God: Glikl bas Judah Leib.” In Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth-Century Lives. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995, pp. 1-62. ISBN: 9780674955202.

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10 Jews in interwar Europe

Stille, Alexander. Benevolence and Betrayal: Five Italian Jewish Families under Fascism. New York, NY: Summit Books, 1991, pp. 11-222, parts 1-3. ISBN: 9780671671525.

Heller, Celia S. On the Edge of Destruction: Jews of Poland Between the Two World Wars. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1993. ISBN: 9780814324943.

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11 The Holocaust

Levi, Primo. Survival in Auschwitz: The Nazi Assault on Humanity. New York, NY: Touchstone, 1996. ISBN: 9780684826806.

Dawidowicz, Lucy S. “Thinking About the Six Million: Facts, Figures, Perspectives.” In The Holocaust and the Historians. Edited by Lucy S. Dawidowicz. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983. ISBN: 9780674405677.

Wiesel, Eli. Night. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, 2006. ISBN: 9780374500016.

Ringelblum, Emanuel. Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto. New York, NY: Ibooks, Inc., 2006. ISBN: 9781596873315.

Frank, Anne. The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition. New York: Doubleday, 1995. ISBN: 9780385473781.

Klemperer, Victor. I Will Bear Witness. New York: Random House, 1998. ISBN: 9780679456964.

Satloff, Robert H. Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust’s Long Reach into Arab Lands. New York, NY: PublicAffairs, 2006. ISBN: 9781586483999.

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12 The Mandate and Israel

Metzer, Jacob. The Divided Economy of Mandatory Palestine. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2002 [1998], chapter 1 and the first part of chapter 4, pp. 1-27 and 84-103. ISBN: 9780521894388.

Gorenberg, Gershom. The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977. New York, NY: Times Books, 2006, chapters 1-2, pp. 7-71. ISBN: 9780805075649.

Stein, Leslie. The Hope Fulfilled: The Rise of Modern Israel. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003. ISBN: 9780275978150.

Angrist, Joshua D. “Returns to Schooling in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.” American Economic Review 85, no. 5 (December 1995): 1065-1087.

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13 Jews in the United States

Exam on readings

Rubenstein, William D. “Jews in the Economic Elites of Western Nations and Anti-Semitism.” Jewish Journal of Sociology 42 (2000): 5-35.

Supple, Barry E. “A Business Elite: German-Jewish Financiers in Nineteenth-Century New York.” Business History Review 31 (Summer 1957): 143-78. Reprinted in The American Jewish Experience. 2nd ed. Edited by Jonathan D. Sarna. New York, NY: Holmes and Meier, 1997 [1986]. ISBN: 9780841913769.

Temin, Peter. “An Elite Minority: Jews among the Richest 400 Americans.” In Human Capital in Economic Growth. Edited by David Eltis, Frank Lewis, and Kenneth Sokoloff. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

Diner, Hasia R. The Jews of the United States, 1654 to 2000. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004. ISBN: 9780520227736.

Godley, Andrew. Jewish Immigrant Entrepreneurship in New York and London, 1880-1914. New York, NY: Palgrave, 2001. ISBN: 9780333960455.

Ross, Leonard G. The Education of Hyman Kaplan. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace, 1937. Also available from Prion Books, 2000. ISBN: 9781853753824.

Roth, Philip. Portnoy’s Complaint. New York, NY: Vintage, 1994. ISBN: 9780679756453.

Dershowitz, Alan M. The Vanishing American Jew. New York, NY: Little Brown, 1997. ISBN: 9780316181334.

Slezkine, Yuri. The Jewish Century. Princeton, NY: Princeton University Press, 2004. ISBN: 9780691119953.

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14 Review, summary, and discussion (no readings)  

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