Non-Fiction Books:

Class Struggle in the Pale

The Formative Years of the Jewish Worker's Movement in Tsarist Russia


Paperback / softback

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Class Struggle in the Pale by Ezra Mendelsohn
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Beginning in the 1890s, and continuing into the twentieth century, Jewish workers in the Russian Pale of Settlement organised themselves to improve their economic and cultural situation. Their struggle was the result of an alliance with the Jewish socialist intelligentsia, which began by teaching workers in select 'circles' and ended by assuming the leadership of a mass labour movement. In this book, originally published in 1970, Dr Mendelsohn analyses the nature and condition of the Russian Jewish proletariat. There follows a discussion on the 'propaganda' period and the subsequent transition to 'agitation'. The Jewish strike movement is analysed, with special attention to the workers' aims, tactics and relations with the formal institutions of the organised labour movement. Dr Mendelson also considers the relationship between the proletarian rank-and-file and the movement's leadership, placing emphasis on movements of opposition. The study concludes by considering the ultimate value of the Jewish labour movement for its participants, and by assessing its unique position in the context of Russian labour history.
Release date Australia
February 11th, 2010
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Worked examples or Exercises
Cambridge University Press
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