In his book Emancipation, award-winning former public radio reporter Michael Goldfarb writes about the liberation of the Jews from the ghettos of Western Europe during the French Revolution.
Here, in discussion with journalist Antony Loewenstein, he tells the tales of many of the great thinkers who lived through this momentous period in history: Marx, Freud and Proust among them. How did the Jews, their children and grandchildren respond to this sudden liberation, and how were they received by the rest of the community? Goldfarb recounts epic stories of people who became migrants in their own countries, and reminds us of the ongoing need for a sense of belonging.
Michael Goldfarb is an American journalist and author now based in the UK. He has reported for public radio in the United States and for the BBC.
Goldfarb's latest book, Emancipation, is about the Jews of Europe who were kept apart for almost 500 years, confined to ghettos or tiny countryside villages, until they were freed during the French Revolution. Their emancipation, he says, changed the whole course of history.
Antony Loewenstein is a Sydney-based freelance journalist, author and blogger. He has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Guardian, Washington Post, Haaretz, The Nation, Sydney's Sun-Herald, Melbourne's Age, Brisbane's Courier Mail,ABC Unleashed, Amnesty International Australia, Adelaide's Advertiser, The Bulletin, Znet, The Big Issue, Counterpunch and many others.
Loewenstein contributed a major chapter to 2004's best-seller, Not Happy, John! on the Hanan Ashrawi affair. His best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question, was released by Melbourne University Publishing in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award.
He was a contributor to the 2008 Verso Books release, A Time to Speak Out: On Israel, Zionism and Jewish Identity.
His second book, The Blogging Revolution, on the Internet in repressive regimes, was released in 2008 by Melbourne University Publishing.
He writes regularly for online magazines New Matilda and Crikey and is a board member of Macquarie University's Centre for Middle East and North African Studies. He is an Honorary Associate at Macquarie University's Department of Politics and International Relations.
He is the co-founder of advocacy group Independent Australian Jewish Voices and contributed to Amnesty International Australia's 2008 campaign about Chinese Internet repression and the Beijing Olympic Games. Loewenstein appears regularly on radio, TV, in public and at universities discussing current affairs and politics.