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Genius & Anxiety: How Jews Changed the World, 1847-1947

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  11 reviews
A unique chronicle of the years 1847-1947, the century when the Jewish people changed the world—and it changed them.

In a hundred-year period, a handful of men and women changed the way we see the world. Many of them are well known—Marx, Freud, Proust, Einstein, Kafka. Others have vanished from collective memory despite their enduring importance in our daily lives. Without
Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published December 3rd 2019 by Scribner
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Laura Spira
A very interesting book, clearly based on solid research but also a good read, once you get used the slightly breathless historical present used. One might dispute the claims made for some of the people discussed - did Sarah Bernhardt really invent celebrity? - but the evidence provided for the influence of their Jewishness on the achievements of those who pronounced themselves firmly secular is intriguing.

The first half of the book is more compelling than the later chapters, which feel
Margaret Heller
Sep 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Reviewed for Library Journal. I do think lots of people should read this, even as it’s hard to recommend it, because it is so dark and overwrought, but so is Jewish history.
Samuel W
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Well-written and very informative.

I learned a tremendous amount from reading this book. I thought that the histories of communism and Zionism were very interesting and well written. At times, however the book seemed to get bogged down with minute detail. There should be subdivision based on the name of the person being discussed , with the name of the person as the title for that piece of the text. With his way of introducing a new person, it was often confusing as to which person was being
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It would make a wonderful Hannukah present. This book showcases many Jews who have influenced our times and tells about their contributions and their lives. I highly enjoyed this book and will be purchasing copies as presents this Hannukah.

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
Wajda Tabassum
Dec 03, 2019 marked it as to-read
I just adore the works of Kafka, Freud and Marx wow! This book seems to be an insightful and interesting one. As the title suggests some intrapsychic process went through these beautiful minds and maybe there is mention of transgenerational trauma - which I am very interested to know about. Today's society is getting polluted with the extreme-right political approach through media. Hoping to see some humane understanding of these beautiful souls in this book.
This is a whirling recitation of contributions by Jews from 1847 to 1947 that surely displays the genius of those cited. It is also replete with the anxiety felt by these same geniuses many of whom were forced to change their name, identity, and religion else their work fail to be recognized, much less they themselves survive. A fair number of them were also murdered either in pogroms or during the Holocaust. Lebrecht, a music critic, spends a good deal of time on composers starting from ...more
David Briggs
the Jews are great and powerful in America. i think back to Germany, where it all began before WW2. still, to say that one group or class of people are more educated than another is presumptuous. a quality education is personal yet to devote oneself to any discipline is credit worthy. i admire movie stars and pop singers because of their strength and character. Michael Jackson is a remarkable human being, yet also one of the most exciting persons in show business. all contributions to any free ...more
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, library
I had to skim parts of the book because it was somewhat boring. I did learn a few new things that I didn't know--for instance, Einstein was a prolific violinist. Of course, the book gets into some of the evil things that were done to Jews, but it also highlights the discoveries that they made. There was a lot of people dying early in those days--so many died young from undetected illness, mistreatment, unhealthy lifestyles, and obviously the holocaust.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started a little slowly but picked up and became a page turner. Very interesting perspective - much of the information wasn't entirely new to me but the way it's all put together in context was eye opening. Definitely recommend.
Sara Goldenberg
Dec 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked it although it was a tad scholarly for me
Subhash Parihar
I simply love JEWS so I am paling order for a copy of the book.
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Norman Lebrecht (born 11 July 1948 in London) is a British commentator on music and cultural affairs and a novelist. He was a columnist for The Daily Telegraph from 1994 until 2002 and assistant editor of the Evening Standard from 2002 until 2009. On BBC Radio 3, he has presented from 2000 and The Lebrecht Interview from 2006.

He has written twelve books about music, which have been