The Invisible Jewish Budapest: Metropolitan Culture at the Fin de Siècle (University of Wisconsin Press), by Mary Gluck
Sep. 20, 2016
The Invisible Jewish Budapest is a thoroughly readable exploration of the particular forms modernity assumed under Jewish influence in Hungary’s fin de siècle capital, in those years a city rivaling Vienna and Munich as a cultural center. But in investigating the context, author Mary Gluck reveals a controversy that sounds familiar to anyone following contemporary American (and European) politics. Late 19th-century Hungary had a perceived immigration problem, specifically Russian Jews fleeing violence in their homeland. As they poured into Hungary, they were accused of driving down wages, fostering alien cultural norms and harboring dangerous criminals. Excitable demagogues, grassroots populists and shrill pundits called for deportations as they roused people anxious over loss of status, economic inequalities and ruffled by the winds of change.