Natan Sznaider offers a highly original account of Jewish memory and politics before and after the Holocaust. It seeks to recover an aspect of Jewish identity that has been almost completely lost today - namely, that throughout much of their history Jews were both a nation and cosmopolitan, they lived in a constant tension between particularism and universalism. And it is precisely this tension, which Sznaider seeks to capture in his innovative conception of ‘rooted cosmopolitanism', that is increasingly the destiny of all peoples today.
The book pays special attention to Jewish intellectuals who played an important role in advancing universal ideas out of their particular identities. The central figure in this respect is Hannah Arendt and her concern to build a better world out of the ashes of the Jewish catastrophe. The book demonstrates how particular Jewish affairs are connected to current concerns about cosmopolitan politics like human rights, genocide, international law and politics. Jewish identity and universalist human rights were born together, developed together and are still fundamentally connected.
This book will appeal both to readers interested in Jewish history and memory and to anyone concerned with current debates about citizenship and cosmopolitanism in the modern world.