did or did not exist would in fact have been a significant contribution to historical knowledge and also to contemporary German self-understanding. David Sorkin Department of History University of WisconsinMadison Moses Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero, by Abigail Green. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press, 2010. 540 pp. $35.00. The scion of a wealthy Livornese Sephardic family, Moses Montefiore (1784 1885) made his fortune as a London stockbroker before, from his early 40s, devoting the rest of his life to philanthropic endeavors and the struggle for social and religious emancipation in the United Kingdom and abroad. Montefiore volunteered primarily on behalf of beleaguered Jews, but, in the crossconfessional spirit of mid-Victorian society, this "global celebrity" also made Middle Eastern Muslims and Christians recipients of his largesse and humanitarian-political intercession. Abigail Green, a historian specializing in modern history at the University of Oxford, is a descendant of the Sebag-Montefiore family on the distaff side. Despite her ancestry and the "hero" in the subtitle, Green's Moses Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero is neither hagiography nor filiopietism. We read of Montefiore's snubby opposition in the 1850s to his congregation's newly elected Reform deputies and the resulting chaos and police intervention (p. 226),
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Jun 1, 2011
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