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Biale, David


BIALE, DAVID (1949– ), U.S. historian of Jewish culture, religion, and politics. Biale was educated at Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley, the Hebrew University, and ucla, where he received his Ph.D. in history in 1977. He taught Jewish history at the State University of New York, Binghamton, and Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and from 1999 served as Emmanuel Ringelblum Professor of Jewish History at the University of California at Davis.

He is the author of a number of books, among them Gershom Scholem: Kabbalah and Counter-History (1979), Power and Powerlessness in Jewish History (1986), Eros and the Jews: From Biblical Israel to Contemporary America (1992), and is the editor of Cultures of the Jews: A New History (2002), a significant re-conceptualization of the entirety of Jewish history.

Biale's work is characterized by attention to the broad sweep of Jewish history; while he is primarily a specialist in modern European Jewish history, his investigations took him to all periods and geographic centers. Especially significant is his edited volume, Cultures of the Jews, a work designed to re-focus the discipline of Jewish history on everyday matters, on the multifaceted interaction of Jews with their social and political environments, and on neglected groups within the Jewish community.

[Jay Harris (2nd ed.)]

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