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.
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.