Page 69 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

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HYAMSON ---- J EW I S H BOOKS IN ENGLAND
63
such publications were justified, and for a long time now there
has never been an appreciable interval between the publication
by him of one book of Jewish interest and its successor. He
probably has the satisfaction of having issued “ the best seller”
of all Jewish books, certainly in English, very probably in any
language, biblical, talmudical and liturgical books again being
excluded. The pamphlet
Let My People Go
(1942), written by
Mr. Gollancz himself, has had a circulation of over a million and
a quarter, of course not all in English.
Accompanying this development in the publication of Jewish
books has been a parallel one in the periodical press. The Jewish
Historical Society of England, one of the few survivors of the
Jewish learned societies of Europe, continued on its quiet way
distributing to its members, even during the war with its almost
insurmountable obstacles to the publication of books of pure
scholarship, an occasional if not an annual volume of permanent
value. The war had not long ended before it had recovered its
former position and it now produces regularly a substantial volume
of permanent value, not to mention an annual booklet incor-
porating the Lucien Wolf Memorial Lecture of the year, an essay
always brimful of thought by a man of eminence in the intellectual
world, alternately a Jew and a non-Jew. In this field Anglo-Jewry
has seen even more than the reinvigoration of the Jewish Historical
Society. Within the past twelve or fifteen months a new learned
society, whose scope is sufficiently indicated by its title, “The
Society of Jewish Studies,” has been formed and simultaneously
has been the production of
The Journal of Jewish Studies
, a
learned periodical somewhat on the lines of
The Jewish Quarterly
Review
, whose aim is to approximate the first series of that period-
ical published in England for twenty years before it was trans-
ferred to North America. A periodical of a different description
that has appeared on the scene during the past two years is
The
Jewish Monthly
, a monthly review, in the English sense, of Jewish
affairs, published by the Anglo-Jewish Association and a most
readable and instructive periodical.
THE EAST AND WEST LIBRARY
To turn to recent publications of Jewish books by Jewish schol-
ars, the first that should be mentioned are perhaps the series of
extracts from the works of Jewish thinkers that have been pub-
lished during the past eighteen months or so in a pleasant and
handy form by the East and West Library. These comprise, with
the names of their editors or translators:
Saadya Gaon: The
Book of Doctrines and Beliefs
, 1946, (Rabbi Alexander Altmann),