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Solomon Maimon an Autobiography

by Michael Shapiro

  • ISBN: 9780252069772
  • ISBN10: 0252069773

Solomon Maimon an Autobiography

by Michael Shapiro

  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr
  • Publish date: 03/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780252069772
  • ISBN10: 0252069773
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Description: Brilliant and bedraggled, the picaresque Jewish philosopher Solomon Maimon was one of the great thinkers of the eighteenth century. Now the definitive English version of Maimon's remarkable Autobiography, the 1888 translation by J. Clark Murray, is available for the first time in paperback, enhanced with a new introduction by Jewish studies scholar Michael Shapiro.

Wry and spirited, shrewd and unrepentant, Maimon alternated between nomadic destitution and intellectual swordplay among the Jewish elite of Berlin. The son of a petty merchant in Polish Lithuania, Maimon was a child Talmud prodigy who became increasingly antagonistic toward the Jewish establishment and receptive toward the secular philosophies of Spinoza, Hume, Leibnitz, and Kant. Parallel to his own development as a thinker, Maimon conveys the physically wretched but spiritually vibrant Polish ghetto, the beginnings of Hasidism, and the world of the wealthy Berlin Jewry who enthusiastically embraced the ideas of the Enlightenment.

Combining philosophical discourse with personal anecdotes that shift abruptly from the tragic to the hilarious and back, Maimon's Autobiography indelibly portrays one man's devotion to truth on his own terms regardless of the cost to himself or others.

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