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I know of no book that devotes its contents to the past two hundred years' cultural entity of the 'salon'. [For that matter I don't know of any book that devotes itself solely to the cultural entity of its 'equivalent' -- the 'musical(e)'.]
By provisionally eliminating the 'Jewish' or 'female' associations in the book, the study of the 'salon' as a cultural entity is unique itself.
Then coupled with the 'female' as the main creator and motivator of the salon is surely mind-expanding.
Then, in addition, (to those interested) to add the Jewish aspect (which, again, if one is interested) with its many associations (Jew and still German or Austro-Hungarian; the 'Court Jew'; voluntary conversion (or 'slipping away, or intermarriage) of some Jews, and its association with anti-Semitism, or just the desire to be 'less Jewish', the prominent place of many Jews in European history, etc., etc.) is surely a plus.
Now, to the physical aspect of the book: Its binding, quality of the paper, and quality of the (many colored) reproductions, are first quality.
Its content is unequaled with its seven introductory articles by the editors, the four monographs by other authorities; then the most interesting biographies of the female 'salon-keepers' [!!!]; and finally the fine notes, biblography and index.
To recapitulate: Physically this is a fine production; the subject (the salon) is a real contribution; plus the important function of the female (I can't think of any male 'salonniere'), and, to those interested, the importance of the Jew in the cultural history of particularly Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, this a unique and entirely 'satisfying' production.
Jew or non Jew, if you are at all interested in this contribution to the culture of the 'western' world, the purchase of this book is a MUST.Jewish Women and Their Salons: The Power of Conversation (Jewish Museum) OverviewFrom their debut in Berlin in the 1780s to their emergence in 1930s California, Jewish women's salons served as welcoming havens where all classes and creeds could openly debate art, music, literature, and politics. This fascinating book is the first to explore the history of these salons where remarkable women of intellect resolved that neither gender nor religion would impede their ability to bring about social change.
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