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Martin Buber: A Life of Faith and Dissent

by Paul Mendes-Flohr Yale University Press
Pub Date:
05/2019
ISBN:
9780300153040
Format:
Hbk 384 pages
Price:
AU$49.99 NZ$52.17
Product Status: In Stock Now
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An authority on the twentieth-century philosopher Martin Buber, Paul Mendes-Flohr offers the first major biography in English in thirty years of this seminal modern Jewish thinker. Organised around several key moments – such as his sudden abandonment by his mother when he was a child of three – Mendes-Flohr shows how this foundational trauma left an enduring mark on Buber’s inner life, attuning him to the fragility of human relations and the need to nurture them with what he would call a ‘dialogical attentiveness’.
Buber’s philosophical and theological writings, most famously I and Thou, made significant contributions to religious and Jewish thought, philosophical anthropology, biblical studies, political theory and Zionism. In this accessible new biography, Mendes-Flohr situates Buber’s life and legacy in the intellectual and cultural life of German Jewry as well as in the broader European intellectual life of the first half of the twentieth century.
“Mendes-Flohr. . . . traces the historical path that led Buber from Europe to Israel, and, throughout his engrossing narrative, tracks Buber’s intellectual journey, one that made him both a revered figure and a controversial one."—Benjamin Balint, Wall Street Journal

"A scrupulously researched, perceptive biography of Buber that evinces an authoritative command of all the contexts through which Buber moved."—Robert Alter, New York Times Book Review

“Mendes-Flohr’s book is certainly comprehensive”—David Ruben, The Jewish Chronicle

“Martin Buber was a great and hugely complicated man: philosopher, activist, he engaged throughout his career in a committed search for a modern Judaism that would remain in touch with the beauty, complexity, and tragedy of everyday life. Paul Mendes-Flohr's superb biography captures the depth and many-sidedness of Buber’s life and work. It is a great gift for all who already care about Buber, and for many who have yet to make his acquaintance.”—Martha C. Nussbaum, The University of Chicago

“This exquisite biography presents the best account to date of the life and work of one of the most distinguished modern Jewish thinkers and provides a panoramic view of the rich intellectual and cultural life of German Jewry.”—Amir Eshel, Stanford University
 

Paul Mendes-Flohr is editor-in-chief of the twenty-two-volume German critical edition of the collected works of Martin Buber and the author of German Jews: A Dual Identity. He is professor emeritus of the Divinity School, the University of Chicago, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.