Three books of note: the Ghetto in Global History; and Synagogue Architecture — in the Islamic World and in Central Europe

Campo del Ghetto Nuovo, Venice


We’d like to note three recently published books that will be of interest to our readers. They deal with synagogue architecture in Central Europe and the Islamic World, and with the history of the Ghetto:

Synagogues in the Islamic World: Architecture, Design and Identity, edited by Mohammad Gharipour. (Edinburgh University Press)

This richly illustrated book explores the elements and concepts applied in the design of synagogues in the Islamic world. It shows connections between Jewish and Islamic architecture and the collaboration among Muslims and Jews in the design and construction of synagogues. Taking an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approach, it provides a new setting for the analysis of Islamic architecture and addresses historical, social, urban, and architectural aspects of synagogues throughout the Muslim world.

There are chapters on Turkey and Spain.

Synagogues in Hungary, 1782-918, by Rudolf Klein (CEU Press)

This is the long-awaited English language version of Klein’s lavishly illustrated, massive and encyclopedic work on the history, forms and styles of synagogues in central Europe that cam out in 2011. Download a summary in English HERE.

The Ghetto in Global History: 1500 to the Present, edited by Wendy Z. Goldman and Joe William Trotter Jr. (Routledge)

The volume is structured around four main case studies, covering the first ghettos created for Jews in early modern Europe; the Nazis’ use of ghettos; the enclosure of African Americans in segregated areas in the United States; and the extreme segregation of blacks in South Africa.

Here is the Table of Contents for Part 1, on ghettos for Jews in early modern Europe:

Part I: The Early Modern Jewish Ghetto

1 – Ghetto: Etymology, Original Definition, Reality, and Diffusion, by Benjamin Ravid

2 – The End to Confessionalism: Jews, Law, and the Roman Ghetto, by Kenneth Stow

3 – The Early Modern Ghetto: A Study in Urban Real Estate, by Bernard Cooperman

4 – Venice: A Culture of Enclosure, a Culture of Control. The Creation of the Ghetto in the Context of Early Cinquecento, by Samuel D. Gruber




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