by Gotthard Deutsch PhD
Gotthard Deutsch was born in Austria as Eliezer Deutsch; Gotthard being a translation of his given first name into German. Deutsch studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau as well as the University of Vienna, splitting his time between secular and Jewish institutions, eventually earning his PhD in 1881. For much of his life and career, Deutsch found himself balancing between religious and academic pursuits.
He was a prolific and highly respected author, writing in many languages, including German, Hebrew, and French. He was invited to become the chair of Jewish history and philosophy at Hebrew Union College, but nearly lost his position during World War I by openly arguing for a position of neutrality, which left him particularly ostracized. However, his excellent work and the support of other esteemed colleagues allowed him to remain on. He passed away in 1921 in Cincinnati. The History of the Jews is one of his later works and offers an intriguing narrative with special emphasis on the role of language.
This edition is dedicated to the memory of Seymour Martin Lipset, notable interpreter of society and identity, explorer of national exceptionalism and pluralism.