Sunday, April 9, 2023

Two library books for my Sunday reading report

Genius and Anxiety: How Jews Changed the World, 1847-1947 ~ by Norman Lebrecht, 2010, history, 464 pages

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.  The Jewish people made up less than 0.25% of the world’s population in 1847, and yet they saw what others did 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.  Genius and Anxiety begins with the Communist Manifesto in 1847 and ends when Israel was founded in 1947.  (I have a problem with the dates, but I'll see what the book says.)
Abigail Takes the Wheel ~ by Avi, illustrated by Don Bolognese, 1999, children's fiction, 64 pages

Collision in the harbor!  Abigail and her brother, Tom, travel to school every day aboard their father's freight boat, the Neptune.  Two ships collide in the Narrows one day, and Abigail's father goes to their aid — leaving Abigail to take the Neptune's wheel.  Can she and Tom steer the freight boat through the crowded waters of New York Harbor alone?

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb Nance at Readerbuzz, and Library Loot is a weekly
event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life
Reading that encourages bloggers to share the library books they’ve checked out.

1 comment:

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I am fascinated with Jewish people. I am not sure why, but a disproportionate number of people in my two writing classes this year are Jewish, including one of the teachers. Genius and Anxiety is an interesting title, too. Are those qualities somehow linked? Tell us more, if you can.