Genius & Anxiety: How Jews Changed the World, 1847-1947 (Hardcover)

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Description


This lively chronicle of the years 1847­–1947—the century when the Jewish people changed how we see the world—is “[a] thrilling and tragic history…especially good on the ironies and chain-reaction intimacies that make a people and a past” (The Wall Street Journal).

In a hundred-year period, a handful of men and women changed the world. Many of them are well known—Marx, Freud, Proust, Einstein, Kafka. Others have vanished from collective memory despite their enduring importance in our daily lives. Without Karl Landsteiner, for instance, there would be no blood transfusions or major surgery. Without Paul Ehrlich, no chemotherapy. Without Siegfried Marcus, no motor car. Without Rosalind Franklin, genetic science would look very different. Without Fritz Haber, there would not be enough food to sustain life on earth.

What do these visionaries have in common? They all had Jewish origins. They all had a gift for thinking in wholly original, even earth-shattering ways. In 1847, the Jewish people made up less than 0.25% of the world’s population, and yet they saw what others could not. How? Why?

Norman Lebrecht has devoted half of his life to pondering and researching the mindset of the Jewish intellectuals, writers, scientists, and thinkers who turned the tides of history and shaped the world today as we know it. In Genius & Anxiety, Lebrecht begins with the Communist Manifesto in 1847 and ends in 1947, when Israel was founded. This robust, magnificent, beautifully designed volume is “an urgent and moving history” (The Spectator, UK) and a celebration of Jewish genius and contribution.

About the Author


Norman Lebrecht is the world’s bestselling author on classical music. His Whitbread Award-winning novel, The Song of Names, is currently being developed into a feature film. Aside from the history of Western music, he has a lifelong passion for the culture and chronicles of the Jewish people and is the author of Genius & Anxiety. He lives in London.

Praise For…


“[A] thrilling and tragic history… Mr. Lebrecht is especially good on the ironies and chain-reaction intimacies that make a people and a past.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Chemotherapy, the theory of relativity, great literature, blood transfusions, political theory, even Google are among the accomplishments of Jewish men and women, and they’re all celebrated in this lively, enlightening history.” Washington Post, “Best Books of December”

A spirited account that explores how Jews changed the world.” —The Guardian (UK)

“An altogether brilliant and serious but approachable and readable popular history and survey of an extraordinary century of Jewish achievement….[This] book is unfailingly urbane and anecdotal at the same time it is punctilious about the facts. Lebrecht is hearteningly scrupulous about separating legends that cling like barnacles to the drier and more prosaic and inarguable facts of history.” —Buffalo News

“Like Jewish destiny itself, Lebrecht’s analysis is multi-dimensional, complex, and rich in substance.” —The Times of Israel

 “Claims to have ‘changed the world’ tend to be exaggerations, but Lebrecht’s subtitle, How Jews Changed the World 1847-1947, seems understated. The world wasn’t changed, it was remade… [Narrated] by a sprightly raconteur, with anecdotes and jokes, digressions and embellishments. Lebrecht piles them high in a ziggurat of enthusiasm for those ‘who changed the way we see the world.’” —The Times (UK)
 

“An absorbing, well-told story of Jewish achievement that is a pleasure to read…. Written with passion and authority, this book shows how these great minds always took a different point of view—and changed how we see the world.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A unique perspective on the role of Jews in European intellectual life, this will be of interest to music and art history readers, as well at those interested in Jewish history.” —Library Journal

“Invoking heroic, creative, courageous images through the large panorama and the small vignette, Lebrecht… teases out more than 100 years of Jewish lore in this dense, entertaining work.” —Bookreporter.com

“Urgent and moving history.” —The Spectator (UK)
Product Details
ISBN: 9781982134228
ISBN-10: 1982134224
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: December 3rd, 2019
Pages: 464

How to read more

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How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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