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Jewish and General Autobiography, Memoirs, Biographical Information, and Online Resources

Introduction to the Subject

Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography

Page of a Draft of Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography

How does one find online a biographical sketch or entry on a person? What categories of autobiography and biography can we classify and differentiate? Does the existence of medieval travelogues and autobiographies dispel the myth that this genre came into existence recently in the 19th century? What do autobiographies tell us not only about the people who wrote them, but about the times in which they lived and the spirit of their epochs? What historical insights can we glean from this particular genre of writing constituting a primary document? How do rabbinic autobiographies differ? What constitutes a mystical autobiography? Regarding the autobiographies written by academic Jewish scholars, how can we chart these scholars' interests such as Gershom Scholem's pioneering of the academic field of Jewish Mysticism? How do Jewish womens' autobiographies differ and share similarities with autobiographies of women in general? What do the memoirs and autobiographies of the Holocaust victims reveal to us about the depths of tribulation and suffering to which innocent people can be subjected without just cause? What is unique about this genre of writing?

Rabbinic and Jewish Autobiographies Introduction

Suggested first Steps in how to Research Autobiographies

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