The People of the Book inthe World of Books isaRussian bimonthly publication for serious readers with Jewish interests. Our English website includes only thesummaries of thepublished articles. Toaccess the complete text of them, please visit the Russian version of this website.


April 2015

This issue of the magazine includes:

• Memoirs: Saint Petersburg through the Eyes of Chaim Zhitlowsky

Chaim Zhitlowsky (1865–1943) was once known all over the Jewish world, but now he is all but forgotten, which is quite unfair given his significant input to the development of modern Jewish politics and modern Jewish secular culture. It suffices to mention he was one of the founders of the Yiddishist movement and a key player at the historical 1908 Czernowitz Conference for the Yiddish Language. On the occasion of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the famous philosopher and politician’s birth, our magazine presents the first Russian-language publication of several chapters from his autobiography.

• Synopses: The First Academic Study of Chaim Zhitlowsky’s Biography

German historian Kay Schweigmann-Greve’s monograph Chaim Zhitlowsky: Philosoph, Sozialrevolutionär und Theoretiker einer säkularen nationaljüdischen Identität was recently published in Hannover. According to the author, the aim of his book is “to present Zhitlowsky’s works and his biography critically against the background of political events and the striving of Eastern European Jewry to build a modern secular nation.” Our reviewer notes that Schweigmann-Greve is overly optimistic when he writes that his subject’s ideas are relevant for today’s Europe, where the “multilingualism of minorities and their self-awareness based on their own cultural values do not weaken society in general but enrich it.” Despite the work’s one-sidedness on certain points, the reviewer argues it would be useful to translate it into Russian and thus acquaint Russian readers with the contradictory and colorful Zhitlovsky.

• Jewish Calendar of Significant Dates: May–June 2015

• Bibliography: 20 New Books