Emancipation - Michael Goldfarb
For almost 500 years, the Jews of Europe were kept apart, confined to ghettos or tiny villages in the countryside. Then, in one extraordinary moment in the French Revolution, the Jews of France were emancipated. Soon the ghetto gates were opened all over Europe. The era of Emancipation had begun. What happened next would change the course of history.
Michael Goldfarb tells the story of how this isolated minority emerged from the ghetto and against terrible odds very quickly established themselves as shapers of history, as writers, revolutionaries, social thinkers, and artists. Their struggle to create a place for themselves in Western European life led to revolutions and nothing less than a second renaissance in Western culture spanning the era from the French Revolution to the beginning of the twentieth century. The story is told through the lives of the people who lived through this momentous change.
Some are well-known: Marx, Freud, Mahler, Proust, and Einstein; many more have been forgotten. This talk will have meaning for anyone interested in the struggle of immigrants and minorities to succeed. We live in a world where vast numbers are on the move, where religions and races are grinding against each other in new combinations.
Michael Goldfarb is an author, journalist and broadcaster. He has written for The Guardian, The New York Times and The Washington Post but is best known for his work in public radio. Throughout the 1990′s, as NPR’s London Correspondent and then Bureau Chief, he covered conflicts and conflict resolution from Northern Ireland to Bosnia to Iraq for NPR.
From 2000, through mid 2005, Goldfarb made documentaries for the public radio program Inside Out. One of these, Ahmad’s War: Inside Out, became the basis for his first book, Ahmad’s War, Ahmad’s Peace: Surviving Under Saddam, Dying in the New Iraq, which was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2005. The book has just been published on Kindle.
His most recent book is, Emancipation: How Liberating Europe’s Jews from the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance.
His work has been given the highest honours on both sides of the Atlantic including the DuPont-Columbia Award and Overseas Press Club’s Lowell Thomas Award in America and the Sony Gold award in Britain. He has also been a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on Press and Politics at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Doors 10.30, £5 in advance, £2 concs./Free to Ethical Society members.
Tea & Coffee will be available.