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Book Notes: Sir Sidney Hamburger and Manchester Jewry, Bill Williams

Malcolm Brown

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Sir Sidney Hamburger and Manchester Jewry, Bill Williams (Vallentine Mitchell 1999) xiv + 306 pp. ?25. Ever since The Making of Manchester Jewry, 1740-1875 was first published a quarter of a century ago, local historians have hoped for a sequel to carry the story forward to the present day. If the biography under review can hardly be described as that, it certainly represents substantial progress in a field of study that has long needed more extensive cultivation. The contribution of Manchester to modern Anglo-Jewish history has never been in doubt. Weizmann, the Sieffs, Harry Sacher - just to mention these names is enough to remind ourselves of the city's significance, particularly as a formative centre of Zionism. While second to none as a champion of Zion? ism, Sir Sidney is exceptional in that, unlike most of his more politically minded fellow-Mancunians, he has devoted himself primarily to improving conditions at home from a base not located at the Palace of Westminster. In so doing he has surely achieved far more than would have been possible otherwise. Bill Williams gives a comprehensive account of Sir Sidney's remarkable career, identifying the historic role of Jewish literary societies in providing adult education for the less academically ambitious, and illustrating the truth of the principle that deeply held religious belief is often the surest way to gain the respect of one's fellow-workers. Any of us fortunate enough to have met Sir Sidney will want their own copy of this book, which pays generous and deserving tribute to an amiable and admirable man. Malcolm Brown 177</page></plain_text>