The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization is a ten-volume series that collects more than 3,000 years of Jewish cultural artificats, texts, and paintings, selected by more than 120 internationally recognized scholars.
Zygmunt Bauman, a much-honored professor of sociology and philosophy who spent four decades explaining how societies work after fleeing a society that had failed, died yesterday in Leeds, England. He was 91. Dr. Bauman’s life collided directly with fascism—his family fled Poland in 1939, after Hitler’s invasion—and he joined Poland’s military intelligence agency after the war. Soon, academia beckoned. After studying in Poland and England, and teaching at Tel Aviv University, Dr. Bauman settled at the University of Leeds, where for decades he held a chair in sociology. Dr. Bauman was amazingly prolific, publishing roughly a book a year for around five decades. In his best-known work, Modernity and the Holocaust, he argued—controversially—that the Shoah was the product of modern forces, rather than human atavism or medieval barbarism. In 1998, he published an article in Tikkun, “Hereditary Vicitmhood: The Holocaust’s Life as a Ghost,” which was included in Volume 10 of the Posen Library. The past, he wrote, is never really past, especially in the case of the Holocaust, which “goes on polluting the world of the living, and the inventory of its insidious poisons seems anything but complete.” Most of Dr. Bauman’s work, however, dealt with society as it exists in peacetime. At various times, his work drew on Freud, Arendt, Derrida, and Adorno. Physically, Dr. Bauman resembled David Ben Gurion, with two eccentric shocks of white hair jumping from either side of his head. If Ben Gurion shaped modern history, Dr. Bauman focused on modern society, and, in his inimitable way, he analyzed it as deeply and inexhaustibly as anyone who came before him. http://www.timesofisrael.com/polish-sociologist-zygmunt-bauman-dies-aged-91/