Radical Jews from Karl Marx to Noam Chomsky (JS1111.03)
From the Syllabus: In this course we will be study leading “radical” Jewish intellectuals and writers of the 19th and, moreover, 20th century by examining the basic ideas they promoted, and by assessing the approach they take to social issues as regards their Judaism or the Jewish community from which they emerged. Even if Judaism was of little or no importance to many of the crucial radical figures of this period, there is surely something in their upbringing that is reflected in the approach of the many Russian or (Eastern) European Jews who worked in this tradition, including the large number thereof who came to or were born in the United States, including Erich Fromm, Lowenthal, Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adorno, Zellig Harris and Noam Chomsky – to name but a few. Several of these individuals least studied and practiced some elements of Judaism, and for others Judaism played an important role in their life and work; but he ideas they promoted and the allegiances they formed teach us a lot about Jewish intellectual life, the New York intellectuals, and the interesting heritage of Jewish radicalism.
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