Page 104 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 28

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J
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B
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Palestine, and her leading part in the establishment of Hadassah—
the whole resulting in a sympathetic yet authentic portrayal of
this extraordinary Jewess.
In 1943 Lowenthal co-authored
Th is Was New York
with
Frank Monaghan, a history of the city in the year 1789. For
two years after 1950 he edited
The American Zionist.
In 1956
he became director of Special Studies at the Brandeis Univer-
sity Library. In that year he published
The Diaries of Theodor
Herzl,
making them available for the first time in English.
Basing his edition on the three-volume publication in Ger-
man, he culled the more interesting and pertinent sections—
totaling about a third of the material—and omitted the parts
of little general appeal or the first drafts of subsequently pub-
lished writings. Throughou t he provided numerous interstices
as background information. His lengthly introduction contains
an intimate delineation of Herzl’s life and character: his child-
hood background, his literary career, his growing awareness
of anti-Semitism, as a man of the world and as the dedicated
statesman in behalf of the planned Zionist state. Nor did he
ignore the flaws of character—“his petty jealousies, undue sus-
picions and oversensitive
amour propre”—
which Herzl was
honest enough to admit in the intimacy of his diary. The “Bio-
graphical and Topical Notes” cover 46 pages of small type
and contain sketches of men, organizations, and topics discussed
in the
Diary.
T h e history of Jewish culture was enriched by Lowenthal’s
valuable and varied contributions. Yet he was relatively neg-
lected, especially in his later years, when he was ailing and
less productive. Of a philosophical bent, however, he accepted
his fate as a matter of course. Asked in 1965 how he thought
of himself, he replied: “Basically, as a person who had a most
enjoyable life, engaging in intellectual adventures, looking at
the world, speculating on the world, arguing about the world,
as a literary man, not as a formal philosopher, nor as a po-
litician.”