Isaac deutscher the non-jewish jew and other essays
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Jul 30, Jay Rothermel rated it really liked it. Some of the merely topical pieces offered in this collection rise episodically to the lapidary and aphoristic heights of his books on Stalin and Trotsky. But most of Deutscher's work as a jobbing journalist came from probing the motivations of the Malenkovs, Khrushchevs, and Nassers. Worth it for that alone. Dustin Wax rated it it was amazing Nov 28, Sam toer rated it really liked it Mar 10, Tom rated it really liked it May 14, LPenting rated it liked it Jan 28, Markus Merin rated it it was amazing Jun 01, Jonas Vanderschueren rated it really liked it Aug 03, Brian marked it as to-read Mar 09, Frank Inserra added it Jan 22, S marked it as to-read Feb 06, Rambox marked it as to-read Jan 02, Randy marked it as to-read Jun 14, Ashlee marked it as to-read Sep 29, Graham Varley marked it as to-read Nov 01, Janice Heimann marked it as to-read Aug 20, Gazmend Kryeziu marked it as to-read Sep 20, Zinntruther marked it as to-read Jul 17, Norman Cohen marked it as to-read Aug 09, Namey marked it as to-read Aug 09, He left journalism in —47 to write books.
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Orwell considered the listed people to have pro-communist leanings and therefore to be inappropriate to write for the IRD. Deutscher published his first major work, Stalin, A Political Biography in Deutscher was still a committed Trotskyist, but in the book he gave Stalin what he saw as his due for building a form of socialism in the Soviet Union, even if it was, in Deutscher's view, a perversion of the vision of Karl Marx , Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky.
The Stalin biography made Deutscher a leading authority on Soviet affairs and the Russian Revolution. These books were based on detailed research into the Trotsky Archives at Harvard University.
Much of the material contained in the third volume was previously unknown, since Trotsky's widow, Natalia Sedova , gave Deutscher access to the closed section of the archives. Deutscher planned to conclude his series with a study of Lenin, but The Life of Lenin remained incomplete at the time of Deutscher's death, partly due to a politically motivated denial of a university position to him.
In the s, the upsurge of left-wing sentiment that accompanied the Vietnam War made Deutscher a popular figure on university campuses in both Britain and the United States. By this time Deutscher had broken with conventional Trotskyism, although he never repudiated Trotsky himself and remained a committed Marxist.
In , Deutscher took part in the first "Teach-In" on Vietnam at the University of California, Berkeley , where thousands of students listened to his indictment of the Cold War. Trevelyan Lectures, under the title The Unfinished Revolution , were published after Deutscher's sudden and unexpected death in Rome in , where he went for an Italian TV broadcast. A memorial prize honouring Deutscher, called the Deutscher Memorial Prize , is awarded annually to a book "which exemplifies the best and most innovative new writing in or about the Marxist tradition".
In his works Deutscher made the distinction between classical Marxism and vulgar Marxism. Despite being an atheist, Deutscher emphasised the importance of his Jewish heritage. He coined the expression "non-Jewish Jew", to apply to himself and other Jewish humanists.
In Warsaw, he joined the communist party, not the Jewish Bund , whose " Yiddishist " views he opposed. Deutscher wrote: "Religion? I am an atheist. Jewish nationalism?
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I am an internationalist. In neither sense am I therefore a Jew.
I am, however, a Jew by force of my unconditional solidarity with the persecuted and exterminated. I am a Jew because I feel the pulse of Jewish history ; because I should like to do all I can to assure the real, not spurious, security and self-respect of the Jews. Before World War II, Deutscher opposed Zionism as economically retrograde and harmful to the cause of international socialism, but in the aftermath of the Holocaust he regretted his pre-war views.
He argued the case for establishing Israel as a "historic necessity", to provide a home for the surviving Jews of Europe.
The non-Jewish Jew and other essays; (Book, ) [inloteenasi.cf]
In the s, he became more critical of Israel for its failure to recognise the dispossession of the Palestinians , and after the Six-Day War of he demanded that Israel withdraw from the occupied territories. Regarding the Israeli—Palestinian conflict , Deutscher wrote the following allegory : "A man once jumped from the top floor of a burning house in which many members of his family had already perished.
The jumping man had no choice; yet to the man with the broken limbs he was the cause of his misfortune. If both behaved rationally, they would not become enemies. The man who escaped from the blazing house, having recovered, would have tried to help and console the other sufferer; and the latter might have realized that he was the victim of circumstances over which neither of them had control. But look what happens when these people behave irrationally.