Jewish History. HTML version

investigator. Often, indeed, the tediousness of a
learned disquisition
is intentional: it is considered one of the polite
conventions of the
academic guild, and by many is identified with
scientific thoroughness
and profound learning.... If, in general, deadening,
hide-bound caste
methods, not seldom the cover for poverty of thought and
lack of
cleverness, are reprehensible, they are doubly
reprehensible in
history. The history of a people is not a mere mental
discipline, like
botany or mathematics, but a living science, a _magistra
leading straight to national self-knowledge, and acting
to a certain
degree upon the national character. History is a science
_by_ the
people, _for_ the people, and, therefore, its place is
the open
forum, not the scholar's musty closet. We relate the
events of the
past to the people, not merely to a handful of
archaeologists and
numismaticians. We work for national self-knowledge, not
for our own
intellectual diversion."
[1] In the introduction to his _Historische
Vorarbeiten zu einer Geschichte der pol-
These are the principles that have guided Mr. Dubnow in
all his works,
and he has been true to them in the present essay, which
exhibits in a
remarkably striking way the author's art of making "all
things seem
fresh and new, important and attractive." New and
important his essay
undoubtedly is. The author attempts, for the first time,