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Jewish High Society in Old Regime Berlin
During the quarter century between 1780 and 1806, Berlin's courtly and intellectual elites gathered in the homes of a few wealthy, cultivated Jewish women to discuss the events of the day, creating both a new cultural institution and an example of social mixing unprecedented in the German past.
Paperback, 299 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Syracuse University Press
(first published April 27th 1988)
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"Deborah Hertz writes in Jewish High Society in Old Regime Berlin that “discrete private loans to those who could afford the high interest rates was one way that the Jewish bankers increased the wealth they acquired in the Seven Year’s War.” Indebted nobles began frequenting the homes of their Jewish creditors, either to make payments or plead for extensions. It was in these circumstances that the first fraternization began between the Prussian nobility and the daughters of the Jewish elite. ...more
May 14, 2008 T.J. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: gender studies students, pretentious graduate students, Judaic studies folk
The title still throws me off--"Old Regime" instead of "Ancien Regime"--but Deborah Hertz has created a pretty intensive, engaging portrait of Jewish women and salon culture in Enlightenment Berlin. It's good stuff, and the stories of the women are compelling, if slightly dry.