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The Berlin Jewish community was both the pioneer in intellectual modernization and the first to experience a crisis of modernity. This original and imaginative book connects intellectual and political transformation with the social structures and daily activities of the Jewish community. Steven M. Lowenstein has used extraordinarily rich documentation about the life of Berlin Jewry in the period and assembled a collective biography of the entire community of Berlin Jews. He has examined tax lists, subscription lists, genealogical records, and address lists as well as kosher meat accounts to give us a vivid picture of daily life. On another level in detailing the complexity of Jewish life in Berlin during this period, this book illuminates the connections between the "peaceful stage" of enlightenment and the crisis that followed.
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This is a very thorough and systematic work ... this book provides a genuinely Jewish approach, and its findings form a very welcome addition to our knowledge. * Christopher Harvie, University of Tubingen, British Journal for Eighteenth-century Studies, vol. 19, part 2, Autumn 1996 *

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