The Divided Elite

Economics, Politics and Anglo-Jewry 1882-1917


This is a study of the Victorian Anglo-Jewish ruling elite, the 'Cousinhood', and of its economic, political, and Jewish interests. Based on a comprehensive theoretical discussion of the notion of a Jewish economic elite, and focusing on the activities of the two leading turn-of-the-century Anglo-Jewish families, the Rothschilds and the Montagus, Daniel Gutwein challenges the current monolithic image of the Cousinhood. The facade of homogeneity, built on common social and class traits, in reality masked a serious division among the rival factions, each with its own economic and political interests, along the same lines that divided the Victorian ruling class as a whole. These rival policies came to the fore on such issues as the absorption of the East European Jewish immigrants, communal and synagogal organization, the reaction to the expulsion of the Jews from Moscow in 1891, and the Balfour Declaration.


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Biographical Note

Daniel Gutwein is a lecturer in Modern Jewish History at the University of Haifa, Israel. He has published articles on Jewish economic and social history and Jewish socialism and nationalism.


Historians of Victorian studies, and students of modern Jewish history.