Lucy Dawidowicz: Dispassionate Historian and Bold Defender of Jewish Interests

An engaging and revelatory new biography is a necessary reminder of the Jewish historian’s important place among 20th-century American intellectuals.

From the cover of From Left to Right: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the New York Intellectuals, and the Politics of Jewish History by Nancy Sinkoff.

From the cover of From Left to Right: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the New York Intellectuals, and the Politics of Jewish History by Nancy Sinkoff.

Observation
July 7 2020
About the author

Harvey Klehr is the co-author, with John Haynes, of The Secret World of American Communism and Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America. His most recent book is The Millionaire Was a Soviet Mole: The Twisted Life of David Karr.


In any given generation, there are only a handful of thinkers who can cogently challenge every unthinking piety and every conventional foolishness that passes for wisdom, and yet are neither cranks nor curmudgeons. For post-World War II American Jewry, Lucy Dawidowicz was just such a figure; and rarer still, she was at the same time a rigorous and gifted historian. She witnessed and chronicled the last year of Jewish Vilna, helped return one of the greatest collections of Jewish books and documents to Jewish hands, aided Jewish refugees in post-war Europe, wrote one of the landmark accounts of the Holocaust, and anticipated many of the ideas of the neoconservative movement.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

More about: History & Ideas, Lucy Dawidowicz