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Anti-Semitism: Myth and Hate from Antiquity to the Present Paperback – October 20, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (October 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403968934
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403968937
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #752,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Perry (Baruch Coll., CUNY) and Schweitzer (Manhattan Coll.) navigate the history of anti-Semitism with a firm hand, utilizing the latest scholarship and confronting controversial issues without fear. Although the book provides a number of linkages between the Holocaust and earlier anti-Semitic beliefs, the primary purpose is to analyze the origins of anti-Semitic myths and their later manifestations. While the authors assert that these beliefs created the fertile ground for mass murder, they do not claim that it inevitably led to genocide. In addition to detailing anti-Semitic beliefs and the consequent victimization of Jews, the authors provide a primer on how to counter such beliefs using historical facts and methodology. Of particular use for students are the chapters on Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism in the Muslim world, and the writings and speeches of the Nation of Islam, which provide important context for understanding how old myths are continually reinvented for the modern world. Recommended for all libraries.
Frederic Krome, Jacob Rader Marcus Ctr. of the American Jewish Archives
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Beginning in the 1st century AD and taking us as far as the 21st, Schweitzer and Perry examine the origins, manifestations and permutations of this virulent form of hate. Solidly researched and lucidly written, their book makes for compelling, if painful reading."--LA Times

"[A] tour de force [that] follows upon the late Edward H. Flannery's groundbreaking classic, The Anguish of the Jews."--Journal of Ecumenical Studies

"Commendably, the authors, using reader-friendly language composed in captivating imagery, bring home the point that realization of anti-Semitism and its vision of apocalypse is ever present and therefore necessitates constant vigil. A wonderful read on a poignant topic. Highly recommended."--Zev Garber

"Perry and Schweitzer navigate the history of anti-Semitism with a firm hand, utilizing the latest scholarship and confronting controversial issues without fear."--Library Journal

"A richly textured, thorough, well-written and indispensable addition to the literature, one that anyone interested in the topic and related racist phenomena should not miss." --John Weiss, author of Ideology of Death: Why the Holocaust Happened in Germany

"...this is a decent and sober beginning to this regrettable history of hate...Recommended."--S.D. Benin, Choice

"...an invaluable guide through the torturous maze of myth and lies propagated by antisemites throughout the ages."-Anna Dogole, The Jewish Eye

"...deserves a place on your bookshelf..."--Gerard Meister, Pedestal

"...an important contribution to the dialogue and the literature on the subject."--Chauncey Mabe, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

"This book is timely, useful, and admirably readable. Its voice needs to be heard."--Michael R. Marrus, Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies and Dean of the Graduate School, University of Toronto.

". . . a remarkably timely and useful account of the history of antisemitism. . . . In spite of the thousands of books . . . on antisemitism, it is often difficult to find a book suitable for students that describes lucidly and competently antisemitic delusions and myths as both a logical absurdity and also a force that has shaped much of the history of the last two thousand years. This book qualifies in these respects unlike any book I have ever seen. I am confident that others will find it similarly useful."--Derek H. Davis, Journal of Church and State

"A substantial, comprehensive, and updated historical survey of the main antisemitic myths. . . "--Leon Volovici, Antisemitism International: An Annual Research Journal of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Marvin Perry and Frederick Schweitzer have written an important treatment of the origins and development of antisemitism from antiquity to the present. The authors begin with the account of the death and trial of Jesus in the gospels which portray the
Jews as "Christ Killers," creating a myth that has been nourished in the Christian church throughout the centuries. The second chapter covers the outrageous and absurd accusation that the Jews practice murder of Christian children as a religious ritual. Such allegations, common in the Middle Ages, began to appear again in the 17th century in eastern Europe. This blood libel is still flourishing, especially in Arab countries,
The third major subject is the demonization of the Jews: Christians equated the Jews with Satan or the Antichrist during the Middle Ages, and the Jews were blamed for the Black Death. Luther laid the foundations for German antisemitism, although the authors point out that "anti-Judaism during the middle Ages and the Reformation was essentially theological, not racial." A racial anti-Judaism arose in Spain, where it was argued that the Jews were wicked not only because of religion but also because they had bad blood. In the 19th century, extreme nationalism and Volkish thought (which saw the Jew as a racial inferior) set the scene for modern, racial antisemitism. Another
strand of calumny centers around the notorious forgery, the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, which lays out a conspiracy on the part of leading Jews to take over the world. The authors show that the Protocols was widely accepted in Germany and was an important ingredient, along with Volkish nationalism, in the Germans' acceptance of the Nazi doctrine of racial antisemitism.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Fishkoff on September 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Since the 1967 Israeli-Arab War, antisemitism has been revived throughout the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. The age old canards of ritual murder and deicide, and the recent ones of holocaust denial and anti-Zionism have gathered new adherants among Islamics and Christians.
The authors of 'ANTISEMITISM', Marvin Perry and Frederick M. Schweitzer, have written a very readable and scholarly work explaining clearly the genesis and development of the many ugly heads of antisemitism. The factual material presented leads to conclusions which are not necessarily 'politically correct', but are logically sound. The authors describe the historical basis of religious and racial antisemitism which enables the reader to better understand the recent works of Catholic writers such as James Carrol and Gary Wills which deal with church bigotry. The present day use of well-worn anti-Judaic myths by Islamic fundamentalists and their camp followers are dealt with in an understandable manner. The authors collectively bring decades of scholarly expertise in writing this important book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on February 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Collaboratively researched and written by historian Marvin Perry and Frederick M. Schweitzer (Director of the Manhattan College Holocaust Resource Center), Antisemitism: Myth And Hate From Antiquity To The Present is an extensive and informative survey and analysis of anti-Semitic myths that have been perpetrated for generations, and which range from Biblical times down to the twentieth century and into the present day. Antisemitism reveals how these lies, exaggerations, untruths, and cultural myths about Jewish people have been used for centuries to justify and fuel unspeakable brutality and genocidal murder against an entire race and faith. A scholarly study of hate-based, mind-twisting perversions and lies from the fabricated stories of Jews ritually sacrificing Christian children to modern-day Holocaust denials, Antisemitism should be found upon the Judaic Studies shelves of every college and community library in the country.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By EJfan on September 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In their new book, Perry and Schweitzer make perfectly clear that Antisemitism is not merely a social problem but an international, religious, and political one, and is not limited to those categories. They do not bash anyone but fulfill the historian's responsibility of precise analysis and interpretation based on evidence. It is utterly wrong to believe that no one can really understand Antisemitism: Thanks to books like this one, it is well and widely understood. The authors hold out real hope for those who seek to combat Antisemitism, and give an example of what can be done by their part in the successful struggle to rebut and utterly discredit the notorious Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel. One of the great merits of this book is its demonstration that Antisemitism was created by non-Jews and is in essence a problem for non-Jews. They make it clear that peace and reconciliation between Jews and non-Jews will not come through pious hopes and the vague goodwill of loving those who hate you. Appropriately, an editorial in the Richmond Times-Dispatch urged Congressman Moran and Patrick Buchanan to get over their absurd prejudices and delusions about Jews by studying this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Perry and Schweitzer have written an interesting and informative analysis of why the Jewish people have faced so much hatred and adversity throughout their history, including up to the present. The authors look at a number of myths about Jews, such as Jews as Christ killers and ritual murderers, the diabolization of Jews, denial of the Holocaust and anti-semitism and the Nation of Islam. Each myth is examined and debunked through a reasoned analysis of historical fact. This is an important book for today's world as many of these myths continue to live on, as evidenced by Holocaust deniers and events such as the controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's not yet released film, The Passion, depicting the trial and death of Jesus. Although slow going at times, as a layperson, I found this scholarly work quite readable and highly worthwhile.
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