Archive for the ‘Shlomo Sand’ Category

The global economic crisis has highlighted the bankruptcy of a system that puts profits before the needs of ordinary people. Billions across the planet face hunger, war, poverty, catastrophic climate change and unemployment.

But billions are also asking whether a different world is possible, talking about alternatives and fighting back. Marxism 2010 will bring thousands of these people together from across the world to discuss, debate and organise the fightback. Don’t miss it. Book online here.

For more information on this year’s speakers and meetings. Timetable to be announced soon!

Participants confirmed so far include:

  • Slavoj Žižek

Living in the End Times will be published Summer 2010.

Zizek analyzes the end of the world at the hands of the “four riders of the apocalypse”

  • Sheila Rowbotham

Dreamers of a New Day: Women Who Invented the Twentieth Century is out now.

“As the 21st century falters forward with faith wars and economic collapse, women need to be at the forefront of reimagining our world. This book is a timely reminder that we have been here before” Jeanette Winterson, Times

“Rowbotham has a marvellous gift for explication and an eye for the illuminating quotation… readers of this ambitious and eloquent book will agree with Rowbotham’s tough-minded conclusion: that in women’s ongoing effort to reconcile the personal and the political, “there is no automatic accretion of improvement”, but the need to reinvent utopia in every era.” Elaine Showalter, Daily Telegraph

  • Tariq Ali

Night of the Golden Butterfly is coming soon!

Monday 10 May: Talk and reading from Night of the Golden Butterfly at the British Library. From 18.45.

Tuesday 11 May: Public lecture at the LSE. From 18.30.

Wednesday 12 May: Talk at Bookmarks Bookshop. From 18.30.

  • Shlomo Sand

The paperback edition of the explosive The Invention of the Jewish People will be published Summer 2010.

“Shlomo Sand has written a remarkable book. … Anyone interested in understanding the contemporary Middle East should read this book.” Tony Judt

“…a formidable polemic against claims that Israel has a moral right to define itself as an explicitly and exclusively Jewish society, in which non-Jews, such as Palestino-Israelis, are culturally and politically marginalised.”  Max Hastings, Sunday Times

“Shlomo Sand’s The Invention of the Jewish People (Verso) is both a welcome and, in the case of Israel, much needed exercise in the dismantling of nationalist historical myth and a plea for an Israel that belongs equally to all its inhabitants. Perhaps books combining passion and erudition don’t change political situations, but if they did, this one would count as a landmark.” Eric Hobshawm, Observer, Books of the year

“A string of firecrackers” Stephen Howe, Independent, Book of the Week

“Sand takes on a formidable tradition in claiming that moral validity in the Middle East needs good history, and no discussion of the region any longer seems complete without acknowledgement of his book.” Independent on Sunday, Best History Books of 2009

“An important book – one that hammers another nail into Zionism’s ideological coffin.” Tony Greenstein, Weekly Worker

“[Sand’s] quiet earthquake of a book is shaking historical faith in the link between Judaism and Israel.” Rafael Behr, Observer

  • Authors and academics: Owen Hatherley (Militant Modernism), Alberto Toscano (The Theatre of Production), G M Tamás, Sheila Cohen (Ramparts of Resistance), Jane Hardy (Poland’s New Capitalism), Gareth Dale (Popular Protest in East Germany 1945-1989), Kevin Doogan (New Capitalism?), Neil Davidson (Discovering the Scottish Revolution 1692-1746), Colin Barker, Paul Blackledge (Reflections on the Marxist Theory of History), Martin Empson (Marxism and Ecology), Jonathan Neale (Stop Global Warming, Change the World), Christian Hogsbjerg, John Rose (Myths of Zionism)

Alberto Toscano’s long-awaited history of the figure of the fanatic Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea will be published very soon. Verso is publishing Owen Hatherley‘s A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain in Autumn 2010. More details to be announced soon!

  • Peter Hallward (Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment)

A new, updated edition of Peter Hallward’s Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment is due this autumn.

  • Tony Benn asks where next after the election?

Tony Benn introduces Gerrard Winstanley’s The Law of Freedom in the Revolutions! series.

  • Ghada KarmiSami Ramadaniand Haifa Zangana take part in a course of meetings on Palestine , Iraq and the Middle East
  • Gerry Conlon (wrongly imprisoned as one of the Guildford Four) joins Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg and leading human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce for a panel discussion on civil liberties

On Torture and the Death of Justice by Gareth Peirce is forthcoming this summer. She is a defence lawyer who has represented many men and women in their appeals against wrongful convictions made on the basis of disputed scientific evidence, misidentification and police malpractice, including the family of Jean Charles de Menezes.

  • New-York based Guardian journalist Gary Younge assesses Obama’s first year in power
  • Hester EisensteinNina Powerand Judith Orr debate “the new sexism”
  • Economists Ben FineAlfredo Saad-FilhoJoseph Choonara,Guglielmo CarchediCostas Lapavitsas and Graham Turneranalyse the ongoing economic crisis
  • John Holloway on his new book, “Crack Capitalism”
  • Istvan Mészáros discusses alternatives to parliamentarism
  • Alex Callinicos on his new book, “Bonfire of Illusions”
  • Panos Garganas brings new from the front line of resistance in Greece
  • Mark Serwotka, Kevin Courtney , Matt Wrack and Jeremy Dearjoin discussions with other trade unionists
  • Jeremy Corbyn MP participates in a series of meetings on Latin America
  • Martin Smith (LMHR) andWeyman Bennett (UAF) on the fight against fascism
  • Die Linke MP in the BundestagChristine Buchholz speaks on Afghanistan and joins a panel on the radical left
  • Danny Dorling on “Injustice: why social inequality persists”
  • Steven Rose on “The future of the brain”
  • An evening of poetry withMichael Rosen
  • Roy Bailey performs an evening of folk music
  • David Edgar on “Theatre, funding and ideology”

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Shlomo Sand’s The Invention of the Jewish People has been shortlisted for the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize 2010

Now in its 31st year, the JQ-Wingate prize recognises writing by Jewish and non-Jewish authors, which stimulates an interest in themes of Jewish concern while appealing to the general reader.

Former winners include Amos Oz, David Grossman, Zadie Smith, Imre Kertesz, Oliver Sacks, WG Sebald, and Etgar Keret.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony hosted by the Jewish Quarterly in June.

The Invention of the Jewish People will be published in paperback by Verso in June.

More information on the prize here.

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Shlomo Sand‘s Invention of the Jewish People is mentioned in a Ha’aretz article by Matt Lerner on Jewish identity:

Traditional knowledge holds that there was once a distinct nation of people who all practiced the Jewish religion, a Hebrew people with a common geographic origin and, in all likelihood, relatively uniform physical appearance.

But there are those, like Tel Aviv University professor Shlomo Sand, who question both the relevance and validity of this notion in modern discourse.

Sand is the author of a book called “The Invention of the Jewish People”, and a proponent of the belief that today’s Jews are the descendants of different global populations who converted to Judaism over the ages, rather than the offspring of an exiled Hebrew nation.

Sand rejects the traditional narrative of a Roman-instigated diaspora and views the notion of Jewish ethnicity as a racist one used to perpetuate a Zionist myth of ownership of the land of Israel.

Read the full article here.

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Martin Goodman reviewed Shlomo Sand’s Invention of the Jewish People for the TLS (review not online) but neglected to mention that he was criticised in the book.

Shlomo Sand then replied and the TLS published his letter last week.

The least one might expect from an honest book reviewer is that he inform his readers when he is himself the subject of criticism of the book under review.

Now Martin Goodman has responded. You can read his letter here.

See the website for Shlomo Sand’s book here.

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In Forward, Joel Schalit‘s review “We Are All Simon Schama: The Threat of an Undefined Jew” praises The Invention of the Jewish People, and reflects on the furore around the reception of the book:

It was the year’s biggest helping of humble pie. Less than a month after a heated takedown of Shlomo Sand’s “The Invention of the Jewish People” in the Financial Times, the very same reviewer, writing in Italy’s respected business daily Il Sole 24 Ore, offered the book qualified praise, calling it his book of the year. So distinct was this follow-up appraisal, it could have been written by a different person.

Read the full article here.

Read Shlomo Sand’s response to Simon Schama’s review here.

“Perhaps books combining passion and erudition don’t change political situations, but if they did, this one would count as a landmark.” Eric Hobsbawm,The Observer

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Shlomo Sand responds to Martin Goodman’s recent review of The Invention of the Jewish People in the Times Literary Supplement. Goodman had neglected to mention that he was criticised in Shlomo’s book:

The least one might expect from an honest book reviewer is that he inform his readers when he is himself the subject of criticism of the book under review. However, Martin Goodman (February 26) has chosen not to do so. Against all standard conventions, he hides from his readers the fact that his ethnocentric approach to Jewish history was explicitly criticized in my book The Invention of the Jewish People.

Read the entire letter here.

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Acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Frederic Raphael reviews Shlomo Sand‘s The Invention of the Jewish People for Truthdig.

Sand’s text has excited virulent denunciation in some quarters. My lack of expertise in its original Hebrew and in the detailed context of many of Sand’s quotations inhibits me from making any reliable judgment. I can say only that common sense supports much of his narrative and that its content, where I am qualified to assess it, is admirably and candidly presented. It may be that this book comes too late to help men arrive at a sane and rational compromise in the Middle East. Some situations are beyond repair, however much we wish it otherwise. Ideology and religion provide the basic framework of human thought and also supply the often antique racks on which we are all stretched. As Genet observed, “Nous ne sortirons jamais de ce bordel”—i.e.,  there is, to put it chastely, no way out of this mess.

Read the full review here.

Frederic Raphael is the author of numerous novels (A Double Life, The Glittering Prizes), screenplays (Eyes Wide Shut, Far From the Madding Crowd) and non-fiction books (The Necessity of Anti-Semitism, Popper: The Great Philosophers). His latest novel, Final Demands, will be published in March 2010.

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