Green, Abigail, Simon Levis Sullam, Jews, Liberalism, Antisemitism: A Global History. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2020.


The emancipatory promise of liberalism – and its exclusionary qualities – shaped the fate of Jews in many parts of the world during the age of empire. Yet historians have mostly understood the relationship between Jews, liberalism and antisemitism as a European story, defined by the collapse of liberalism and the Holocaust. This volume challenges that perspective by taking a global approach. It takes account of recent historical work that explores issues of race, discrimination and hybrid identities in colonial and postcolonial settings, but which has done so without taking much account of Jews. Individual essays explore how liberalism, citizenship, nationality, gender, religion, race functioned differently in European Jewish heartlands, in the Mediterranean peripheries of Spain and the Ottoman empire, and in the North American Atlantic world.

Table of contents

  • Introduction: Jews, Liberalism, Antisemitism: Towards a Twenty-First-Century History
  • The Limits of Liberalism
    • Liberalism and Antisemitism: A Reassessment from the Peripheries
    • Osman Bey’s The Conquest of the World by Jews (1873): A Liberal Antisemitism?
    • Jews and Other Others
  • Living Liberalism
    • The Material of Race: Caribbean Jews, Clothing, and Manhood in the Age of Emancipation and Liberal Revolution
    • Liberalism, Antisemitism and Everyday Life in Vienna: The Tragic Case of Heinrich Jaques (1831–94)
    • Giving and Dying in Liberal Italy: Jewish Men and Women in Italian Culture Wars
  • Rethinking East-West
    • Unsettling the “Jewish Question” from the Margins of Europe: Spanish Liberalism and Sepharad
    • A Model Millet? Ottoman Jewish Citizenship at the End of Empire
    • From East to West: America as the Liberal Melting Pot of Jewish Politics
  • Liberalism, Empire, Zionism
    • Who Introduced Liberalism into the Damascus Affair (1840)? Center, Periphery and Networks in the Jewish Response to the Blood Libel
    • A Jewish “Liberal” in Istanbul: Vladimir Jabotinsky, the Young Turks and the Zionist Press Network, 1908–1911
    • Jews, Imperial Liberalism, and the Predicament of “Small Nations”: Lewis B. Namier’s Gentry Nationalism
  • Making, Unmaking, and Remaking Liberalism
    • 1848 and Beyond: Jews in the National and International Politics of Secularism and Revolution
    • “A Certain Type of Liberalism”: Minority Rights in Jewish Liberal Discourse, 1848–1948
    • The Jewishness of Cold War Liberalism
    • Afterword

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.