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The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire Hardcover – July 13, 2010
"Both fascinating and pathbreaking. This important and original contribution to scholarship must be read by students of music, Russian culture, and Jewish history." --Leon Botstein, Bard College and the American Symphony Orchestra
Awarded Honorable Mention by the Association for Jewish Studies 2012 Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards in the Category of Jewish Cultural Studies and Media Studies
Won the 2011 Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies USC Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies for outstanding monograph published on Russia, Eastern Europe or Eurasia in the fields of literary and cultural studies
Selected for the 2012 Historia Nova Prize for the Best Book on Russian Intellectual History Long List
About the Author
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I am neither a musician or Jewish historian, but I was drawn to this book after reading the review in Tablet. Dr. Loeffler explores modern Jewish identity in a totally unconventional fashion -- through the lens of Jewish music. The book hits on several universal themes of identity formation, the most significant of which is the age-old effort to determine "where exactly Jews fit in" cosmopolitan, assimilated modern society. Loeffler challenges notions of "hava nagila" as the end-all of Jewish music and identity. My only criticism is the price -- this book is priced like an academic text, but it reads more like a book in the New Yorker's review section. Kudos to Yale for putting out such a reader-friendly and interesting text, and kudos to Dr. Loeffler.