Martin Buber

A Life of Faith and Dissent

Paul Mendes-Flohr

View Inside Price: $26.00


March 26, 2019
440 pages, 5 3/4 x 8 1/4
9 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300153040
Hardcover

The first major biography in English in over thirty years of the seminal modern Jewish thinker Martin Buber

An authority on the twentieth-century philosopher Martin Buber (1878–1965), Paul Mendes-Flohr offers the first major biography in English in thirty years of this seminal modern Jewish thinker. The book is organized around several key moments, such as his sudden abandonment by his mother when he was a child of three, a foundational trauma that, Mendes-Flohr shows, left an enduring mark on Buber’s inner life, attuning him to the fragility of human relations and the need to nurture them with what he would call a “dialogical attentiveness.”
Buber’s philosophical and theological writings, most famously I and Thou, made significant contributions to religious and Jewish thought, philosophical anthropology, biblical studies, political theory, and Zionism. In this accessible new biography, Mendes-Flohr situates Buber’s life and legacy in the intellectual and cultural life of German Jewry as well as in the broader European intellectual life of the first half of the twentieth century.

Paul Mendes-Flohr is editor-in-chief of the twenty-two-volume German critical edition of the collected works of Martin Buber and the author of German Jews: A Dual Identity. He is professor emeritus of the Divinity School, University of Chicago, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“Martin Buber was a great and hugely complicated man: philosopher, activist, he engaged throughout his career in a committed search for a modern Judaism that would remain in touch with the beauty, complexity, and tragedy of everyday life. Paul Mendes-Flohr's superb biography captures the depth and many-sidedness of Buber’s life and work. It is a great gift for all who already care about Buber, and for many who have yet to make his acquaintance.”—Martha C. Nussbaum, The University of Chicago

“This exquisite biography presents the best account to date of the life and work of one of the most distinguished modern Jewish thinkers and provides a panoramic view of the rich intellectual and cultural life of German Jewry.”—Amir Eshel, Stanford University
 

"Definitive."—Publishers Weekly

“Mendes-Flohr. . . . traces the historical path that led Buber from Europe to Israel, and, throughout his engrossing narrative, tracks Buber’s intellectual journey, one that made him both a revered figure and a controversial one."—Benjamin Balint, Wall Street Journal

"Mendes-Flohr’s magisterially researched and engagingly written biography brings Buber to life, makes his thought urgent and present, and shows again and again how Buber the person but also the thinker remains very much our contemporary."—Robert Erlewine, H-Net Reviews

"This is now the authoritative work on Buber and the place that all students of Buber should begin."—Choice 

“This is now the authoritative work on Buber and the place that all students of Buber should begin.”—S. T. Katz, Choice
German Jews
A Dual Identity

Paul Mendes-Flohr

View details
Jewish Lives
Hank Greenberg
The Hero Who Didn't Want to Be One

Mark Kurlansky

View details
Franz Kafka
The Poet of Shame and Guilt

Saul Friedländer

View details
Jabotinsky
A Life

Hillel Halkin

View details
Solomon
The Lure of Wisdom

Steven Weitzman

View details
Primo Levi
The Matter of a Life

Berel Lang

View details
Leon Trotsky
A Revolutionary's Life

Joshua Rubenstein

View details