David Sorkin is the Lucy G. Moses Professor of History at Yale University. His books include The Religious Enlightenment: Protestants, Jews, and Catholics from London to Vienna (Princeton), Moses Mendelssohn and the Religious Enlightenment, and The Transformation of German Jewry, 1780-1840.
The first-ever comprehensive study of the subject. . . . An exceptionally impressive work. ---Andrew N. Koss, Jewish Review of Books [A] sweeping account of Jewish emancipation, which is both chronologically and geographically expansive. . . . This work is the most extensive treatment of Jewish emancipation to date, one that complicates and expands our conception of the circuitous path to parity that is at the center of the past 500 years of Jewish life. * Choice * In this masterful and deeply researched work of synthetic history, David Sorkin argues for the centrality of emancipation as the governing category of modern Jewish history. . . . David Sorkin has brilliantly succeeded in focusing us anew on a key concept in modern Jewish history. ---David Biale, Journal of Modern History This learned book will be an invaluable reference for those seeking to understand the messy process by which Jews were sewn into, and cut out from, the legal tissues of European, American and North African societies. ---Tom Stammers, European History Quaterly Sorkin's gaze is incredibly wide-ranging-spanning Europe, America, Israel, North Africa and the Middle East. ---Audrey Borowski, Times Literary Supplement Best Non-fiction Books of 2019 in Marginal Revolution [A] path-breaking and comprehensive legal and political history of Jewish emancipation. . . . The first truly global history of Jewish emancipation. . . . This thoroughly researched book is an essential addition to the library of modern Jewish history. Not only does it furnish detailed information about the idiosyncrasies and specific legislation of the emancipation process by region and country, but it also discerns common patterns and continuities across geographical divides. ---Daniel B. Schwartz, Central European History [An] expansive history of Jewish emancipation from the sixteenth century to the present. . . . Like many bold books, Sorkin's account invites rather than forecloses further debate. ---Todd Endelman, AJS Review Sorkin's work is thorough and comprehensive. . . . Sorkin has demonstrated that a close study of the modern Jewish experience is not peripheral to modern history but crucial to understanding ourselves no matter what our religious, ethnic, or cultural heritage might be. ---Alexander Orbach, Theology Today