Vidal and His Family: From Salonica to Paris: The Story of a Sephardic Family in the Twentieth Century
Book: Vidal and His Family: From Salonica to Paris: The Story of a Sephardic Family in the Twentieth Century , by Edgar Morin, ISBN10: 1845192745, ISBN13: 9781845192747, Sussex Academic Press, May 2009, Paperback
"Edgar Morin, one of France's greatest living intellectuals, tells the story of his father, Vidal Nahoum, but also the story of Sephardic Jews, and of Europe. In this "holographic history" Vidal's story, and that of his family, carries within it the flowering, decline, and death of Jewish culture in Spain, the passage from Empires to Nation States, the complex relations between Jews and Gentiles, between East and West, and ultimately, the history of the 20th century itself. Morin's work ranges from the great sweep of global historical events to the everyday details of individual lives, reflections and experiences as the Nazi threat impacted on his father's family. Providence, circumstance and danger dominated every decision throughout that fateful period." Vidal lived through the Balkan wars, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and two World Wars. He wanted his son to join him in the family business, but it was clear that Edgar was destined for the Academy. During the Second World War, knowing that his son was part of the Resistance caused emotional estrangement between father and son, the one seeking the best for his family, the other determined to serve a more nationalistic and composite ideal. The emancipation and independence caused by the war experiences results in a profound change in their relationship, resulting in a hitherto unobtainable acceptance of personal destiny.
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