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Memoirs of a Grandmother Scenes from the Cultural History of the Jews of Russia in the Nineteenth Century, Volume One

Memoirs of a Grandmother Scenes from the Cultural History of the Jews of Russia in the Nineteenth Century, Volume One book cover
PAULINE WENGEROFF TRANSLATED WITH AN INTRODUCTION, NOTES, AND COMMENTARY BY SHULAMIT S. MAGNUS
2010

Winner of the 2010 National Jewish Book Awards, Women's Studies Category, sponsored by the Jewish Book Council.

Pauline Wengeroff, the only nineteenth-century Russian Jewish woman to publish a memoir, sets out to illuminate the "cultural history of the Jews of Russia" in the period of Jewish "enlightenment," when traditional culture began to disintegrate and Jews became modern. Wengeroff, a gifted writer and astute social observer, paints a rich portrait of both traditional and modernizing Jewish societies in an extraordinary way, focusing on women and the family and offering a gendered account (and indictment) of assimilation.

In Volume 1 of Memoirs of a Grandmother, Wengeroff depicts traditional Jewish society, including the religious culture of women, during the reign of Tsar Nicholas I, who wished "his" Jews to be acculturated to modern Russian life.

About the author

Shulamit S. Magnus is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and History and Chair of Jewish Studies at Oberlin College. She is the author of Jewish Emancipation in a German City: Cologne. 1798–1871 (Stanford University Press, 1997).

 

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