How I Stopped Being a Jew
Shlomo Sand was born in 1946, in a displaced person’s camp in Austria, to Jewish parents; the family later migrated to Palestine. As a young man, Sand came to question his Jewish identity, even that of a “secular Jew.” With this meditative and thoughtful mixture of essay and personal recollection, he articulates the problems at the center of modern Jewish identity.
How I Stopped Being a Jew discusses the negative effects of the Israeli exploitation of the “chosen people” myth and its “holocaust industry.” Sand criticizes the fact that, in the current context, what “Jewish” means is, above all, not being Arab and reflects on the possibility of a secular, non-exclusive Israeli identity, beyond the legends of Zionism.
About the Author
Shlomo Sand studied history at the University of Tel Aviv and at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, in Paris. He currently teaches contemporary history at the University of Tel Aviv. His books include The Invention of the Land of Israel; The Invention of the Jewish People; and On the Nation and the Jewish People.
Praise for How I Stopped Being a Jew
Praise for The Invention of the Jewish People:
“Perhaps books combining passion and erudition don’t change political situations, but if they did, this one would count as a landmark.” —Eric Hobsbawm, Observer
“Sand’s quiet earthquake of a book is shaking historical faith in the link between Judaism and Israel.” —Rafael Behr, Observer
“No discussion of the region any longer seems complete without acknowledgement of this book.” —Independent on Sunday, Best History Books of 2009
“A radical dismantling of a national myth.” —Guardian