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Insiders and Outsiders addresses various aspects of Jewish and Gentile interaction since the development of the German-Jewish literary and cultural identity in the early 19th century. As the essays in the volume demonstrate German identity has been inextricably entangled with the presence of its archetypal other -the Jewish minority-since the Enlightenment. The common history of German Jews and Gentiles reveals a pattern of unsuccessful attempts at emancipation and integration, during which Jews were driven out, banned, and redamitted. At the same time, it is a history which brought forth an unprecedented cultural production without which there would be no modern Germany and Austria.
This volume highlights the centrality of the Jewish presence in the heart of German and Austrian culture as well as the important role German culture played in Jewish society, examining both the failures and the successes of this tense and troubling relationship.