In A Stake in the Ground, Michael Schraer explores the economic functions of real estate amongst the Jews of the medieval crown of Aragon. He challenges the view of medieval Jews as primarily money-lenders and merchants, finding compelling evidence for extensive property trading and investment. Jews are found as landlords to Christian tenants, transferring land in dowries, wills and gifts. Property holdings were often extremely valuable. For some, property was a major part of their asset portfolios. Whilst many property transactions were linked to the credit boom, land also acted as a liquid and tradeable investment asset in its own right. This is a key contribution to the economic history of medieval Iberia and of medieval Jews.
Marcos Aguinis and the Democratization of Argentina
In Harbinger of Modernity: Marcos Aguinis and the Democratization of Argentina, Dalia Wassner presents an integrated analysis of the civic work and literary oeuvre of Marcos Aguinis, who served as Secretary of Culture during Argentina’s transition from dictatorship to democracy. Situating his writings in their historical and intellectual context, Wassner explores Aguinis’s engagement with the dialectic of modernization as a Jewish public intellectual equally dedicated to fostering Argentine democracy and to inscribing himself in the annals of westernization. Encompassing intellectual history, literary criticism, Latin American history, and Jewish studies, Wassner’s work illuminates the intersecting roles of Jews and public intellectuals in bringing democracy to post-dictatorship Argentina.