Bernard Wasserstein, Isaiah Berlin, Isaac Deutscher and Arthur Koestler: Their Jewish Wars

Menasseh ben Israel Instituut Studies ii (ISBN 978-90-806570-6-9, 35 pp., ill., Amsterdam 2009)


Bernard Wasserstein compares three of the most influential Jewish intellectuals of the twentieth century: the historian of ideas Isaiah Berlin, the biographer and historian Isaac Deutscher, and the novelist and controversialist Arthur Koestler. Despite their vehement disagreement on Jewish issues – their Jewish Wars – there are striking similarities in their approach to some fundamental aspects of contemporary Jewish identity. Wasserstein argues that what united the three paved the way for a revolution in the Jewish individual and collective self-understanding of our time. It was the intellectual revolution that preceded social change.