Antisemitic Myths: A Historical and Contemporary Anthology (Paperback)Marvin Perry (editor), Frederick M. Schweitzer (editor)
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The current revival of antisemitism in Europe and the demonization of Jews in parts of the Muslim world give special importance to the exposure of the myths and lies that for centuries led people to regard Jews as the dangerous "other" and that led to violence and persecution. This provocative anthology presents 90 documents that focus on the nature, evolution, and meaning of the principal myths that have made antisemitism such a lethal force in history: Jews as deicides, ritual murderers, agents of Satan, international conspirators, and conniving, unscrupulous Shylocks. Also included are documents illustrating the recent revival of classical myths about Jews among black nationalists, Holocaust deniers, and Islamic fundamentalists.
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 640 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 20 mm
Choosing a representative sample of antisemitic documents in a field littered with so much information seems daunting. Much of the material chosen by Perry and Schweitzer illustrates the myth of a Jewish conspiracy to corrupt Christianity, Islam, or Gentile society in general. The authors correctly regard the idea of conspiracy as perhaps the most powerful force in the history of antisemitism and, indeed, it still dominates contemporary antisemitic discourse. While readers will find the usual excerpts from documents such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (1934), the authors also include lesser-known figures, such as the Nazi Hans Knodn, whose 1920 plan for mass deportation reminds readers that Hitler was not an original thinker. While each section and document includes succinct and insightful commentary, it is not entirely clear why some documents were chosen. For example, the editors periodically include Jewish responses to antisemitism, such as early Zionist tracts, along with some Christian rejections of anti-Jewish animus, and while an argument can be made for their inclusion, the authors do not explicitly make such a case. This companion to the editors' previous text, Antisemitism: Myth and Hate from Antiquity to the Present (CH, Sep'03, 41-0465), has great potential for class use. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.-- F. Krome * Choice *
. . . a good addition to any Jewish library.-- Arthur G. Quinn * AJL NWSLTR (ASSN JEWISH LIB) *
The current revival of anti-Semitism in Europe and the demonization of Jews in parts of the Muslim world give special importance to the exposure of the myths and lies that for centuries led people to regard Jews as the dangerous 'other' and that led to violence and persecution. [A] provocative anthology . . . .71 Summer/Fall 2009* Menorah Review *
Any university student will benefit from studying Marvin Perry and Frederick M. Schweitzer's work ... [it] adds to the understanding of its subject matter and is a helpful companion to the editors' previous [book].Volume 14 Issue 7 2009* European Legacy *
[The] editors must be given great credit for educating a new generation as to why antisemitism is, in Robert Wistrich's words, 'the longest hatred'.Vol. 40 No. 3 2010-- Ariel Hessayon * Goldsmiths, University of London *
[A] fact-filled source book to educate students and a general readership on the ideology and vicious practice of one of the world's oldest hatreds and how to recognize the subtle (and not so subtle) myths and symbols involved and evolved in the old-new tenacity of evil.Vol. 44.3 Summer 2009-- Adam Gregerman * Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies, Baltimore, MD *
. . . Antisemitic Myths represents a forceful reminder of the enduring power and danger of bigotry.Vol. 27.3 Spring 2009-- Sarah Salwen * Dept. Political Science, University of Pennsylvania *
This is material that every antiracist should know. This is material that everybody who wants to talk about Israel and Palestine should understand. This is material with which anybody who wants to be able to judge whether or not a contemporary text is antisemitic needs to be familiar.32.4 May 2009-- David Hirsh * Goldsmiths, University of London *
. . . [a] comprehensive and invaluable collection of primary sources . . . .Spring 2009-- Michael N. Dobkowski * Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Dept. of Religious Studies *
. . . has great potential for class use. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.February 2009* Choice *
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