From the list on the story of a language.
Who am I?
I have been a Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Linguistics at Dartmouth College since 1997. Previously: Professor of Hebrew at London University. BA Oxford, Ph.D. London. Author/co-author of seven books, including The Story of Hebrew (Princeton, 2017) – one of CHOICE Magazine’s 'Outstanding Academic Titles for 2017', a Princeton University Press nomination for the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction – and (co-author Jon Schommer) A Screenful of Sugar? Prescription Drug Websites Investigated. Over 80 papers on language and its social and political impact, in particular in pharmaceutical and financial literacy.
Lewis' book list on the story of a language
Discover why each book is one of Lewis' favorite books.
Why did Lewis love this book?
Many language stories have sad endings. I don’t like to over-personalize a language; it’s primarily the users that put the spice into a language or let it ‘die’. Or in the case of Yiddish, murdered in their millions.
Dovid Katz’s title evokes the extraordinary vitality of Yiddish – for centuries the language of Europe’s Jews and one of the major literary languages of the 20th century, until Nazism and Stalinism consumed all. Many survivors reached Israel, where Hebrew has taken its place. But Yiddish lives on. To me that matters.
For tens of thousands (and thriving) survivors’ descendants in the US and Europe, Yiddish is still a first language, preserving a traditional religious lifestyle Many more, whose grandparents (like mine) migrated and raised children in other tongues, still cherish Yiddish for its songs and jokes. As do I. Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Larry David – scratch the surface and…