Jewish History. HTML version

superficiality of
content. Even his strictly scientific investigations,
besides offering
the scholar a wealth of new suggestions, form
instructive and
entertaining reading matter for the educated layman. In
his critical
essays, Mr. Dubnow shows himself to be possessed of keen
insight. By virtue of this quality of delicate
perception, he aims to
assign to every historical fact its proper place in the
line of
development, and so establish the bond between it and
the general
history of mankind. This psychologic ability contributes
vastly to the
interest aroused by Mr. Dubnow's historical works
outside of the
limited circle of scholars. There is a passage in one of
his books[1]
in which, in his incisive manner, he expresses his views
on the limits
and tasks of historical writing. As the passage bears
upon the methods
employed in the present essay, and, at the same time, is
characteristic specimen of our author's style, I take
the liberty of
"The popularization of history is by no means to be
pursued to the
detriment of its severely scientific treatment. What is
to be guarded
against is the notion that tedium is inseparable from
the scientific
method. I have always been of the opinion that the
dulness commonly
looked upon as the prerogative of scholarly inquiries,
is not an
inherent attribute. In most cases it is conditioned, not
by the nature
of the subject under investigation, but by the temper of