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The Ghetto: A Very Short Introduction [#648]
The Ghetto: A Very Short Introduction [#648]
  • Covers the varying histories of different kinds of ghettos - urban, racial, and colonial
  • Considers the identity of the people in ghettos, and why and how ghetto communities are formed
  • Analyses the appearance of ghettos in popular culture
  • Shows how both the experience of ghettoization and the memory of ghettos impacts people living in them

For three hundred years the ghetto defined Jewish culture in the late medieval and early modern period in Western Europe. In the nineteenth-century it was a free-floating concept which travelled to Eastern Europe and the United States. Eastern European "ghettos", which enabled genocide, were crudely rehabilitated by the Nazis during World War Two as if they were part of a benign medieval tradition. In the United States, the word ghetto was routinely applied to endemic black ghettoization which has lasted from 1920 until the present. Outside of America "the ghetto" has been universalized as the incarnation of class difference, or colonialism, or apartheid, and has been applied to segregated cities and countries throughout the world.
In this Very Short Introduction Bryan Cheyette unpicks the extraordinarily complex layers of contrasting meanings that have accrued over five hundred years to ghettos, considering their different settings across the globe. He considers core questions of why and when urban, racial, and colonial ghettos have appeared, and who they contain. Exploring their various identities, he shows how different ghettos interrelate, or are contrasted, across time and space, or even in the same place.


Preface and Acknowledgments
List of illustrations

1: Why ghetto?
2: The age of the ghetto
3: Ghettos of the Imagination
4: Nazism and the ghetto
5: The americanization of the ghetto
6: Global ghettos
Further reading
Publishers acknowledgements

About the author: 

Bryan Cheyette, University of Reading
Bryan Cheyette is Chair in Modern Literature and Culture at the University of Reading, and a Fellow of the English Association. He has authored or edited eleven books and is a Series Editor for Bloomsbury (New Horizons in Contemporary Writing). He has lectured widely throughout the United States and Europe and has held visiting positions at Dartmouth College, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds fellowships at the universities of Leeds, Southampton and Birkbeck College, London. He reviews fiction for several British newspapers, and has published nearly one hundred reviews on film, history, and fiction for the Times Literary Supplement.

"This overview of the changing meaning of the ghetto across the globe and through time is highly recommended for readers new to the subject, as well as for those who wish to deepen their knowledge through its excellent bibliography." - Laura Vaughan, LSE Review of Books

"Bryan Cheyette has vigorously met the challenge of looking at ghettos in history and literature from 16th-century Italy to present-day America." - David Abulafia, Jewish Renaissance

"Revealing new details and insights on almost every page." - Howard Cooper, Jewish Chronicle

Product details

ISBN : 9780198809951

Bryan Cheyette
160 Pages
111 x 174 mm
Pub date
Aug 2020
Very Short Introductions
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The Ghetto: A Very Short Introduction [#648]

The Ghetto: A Very Short Introduction [#648]

The Ghetto: A Very Short Introduction [#648]