Journals Higher Education

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Published: 28 April 2009

368 Pages

ISBN: 9781906764012


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Bookseller Code (06)

War, Jews, and the New Europe

The Diplomacy of Lucien Wolf, 1914-1919

Mark Levene

The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization in association with Liverpool University Press

The First World War was a major watershed in modern Jewish history. Out of it came the Balfour Declaration, a first critical step in the creation of the State of Israel, but also a radical redrafting of the political map of eastern and central Europe, with dramatic and potentially tragic consequences for its dispersed but substantial Jewish minority. In this lucid work, which was awarded the 1991 Fraenkel Prize for Contemporary History, Mark Levene approaches these developments through the diplomatic endeavours of Lucien Wolf, a British Jew who was both one of the chief exponents of the Balfour Declaration and as co-architect of the Minorities Treaty that provided an internationally endorsed framework for Jewish existence in Europe after World War I. Through an analysis of Wolf's diplomacy, Levene examines how Jewish interests throughout Europe were affected by the Great War and how they were perceived by the warring powers. Levene shows how british support for Zionism was bound up with misconceptions about the Jewish role in Europe, notably that the revolutionary movement in Russia was Jewish-inspired and Jewish-led.

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