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Book Notes: A Directory of Distinguished British Jews, 1830-1930, Michael Jolles

Bernard Spencer

<plain_text><page sequence="1">A Directory of Distinguished British Jews, 1830-1930, Michael Jolles (Jolles Publications, 78 Greenfield Gardens, London NW2 iHY, London, 2000), 256 pp. ISBN 0-9523105-7-0. This is an important reference work for anyone interested in British and Colonial Jewry. The amount of research that has gone into its preparation can be seen in each chapter. The directory relates perhaps to the most import? ant period of growth for British Jewry, that of complete emancipation. The years prior to 1914 are particularly well done, as information is scant. The section on politics covers every Jewish Member of Parliament and Minister between 1830 and 1930. The subjects covered range from early Jewish Liv? erymen to Lord Mayors and Mayors of major towns and provincial towns both in Britain and the outlying parts of the British Empire. A minor criticism might concern the sheer mass of data that has been collected. For example, does the rabbi of Burnley in 1909 come under the heading of distinguished British Jews, or the many unsuccessful contestants 1 'La population juive ? la veille de 1492. Causes et mecanismes de Pexpulsion', in Henry Mechoulan (ed.) Les Juifs d'Espagne: histoire dune diaspora 1492-1992 (Paris 1992) 32. 2 Os Jfudeus em Portugal no seculo XV (Lisbon 1982) 74. 227</page><page sequence="2">Book Notes for Parliament? Undergraduates certainly do not, apart from people like Selig Brodetsky, a Senior Wrangler and later a leading British Zionist. In addition, the years after 1930 take up a lot of room in places. The section on the military seems limited, especially as in the armies of British India it was easier for a practising Jew to hold a commission before the repeal of the Test Acts in 1829. As a consequence, a number of Jews reached high rank in the Indian Army in the latter part of the nineteenth century, including members of the Lousada, Barrow and Ximenes families who became generals during this period. This study will surely find its place among reference works on the Jewish community of Britain and its Colonies, and Dr Jolles must be congratulated on his efforts in putting together this most important work. Bernard Spencer</page></plain_text>