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on December 9, 2011
A Convenient Hatred, with foreword by Sir Harold Evans, chronicles the evolution of anti-Semitism from the time of Alexander through the Holocaust and modern Israel.

This powerful treatise explores with exquisite detail the pernicious foundations of bigotry against Jews, from ancient times through the dark ages, the enlightenment and into contemporary examples. A Convenient Hatred could just as easily been called A Convenient History, as it illustrates the magnitude of anti-Jewish vitriol, loathing and detestation over the ages, leading to a unique and mendacious version of history that blames Jews for impossibly disparate and disconnected events and catastrophes.

Ms. Goldstein has produced a masterful exposition on the vulnerability of Jews throughout history, highlighting how malicious pagan and Christian leaders exploited the Jewish people. She also addresses the unending value of education within Jewish culture, a trait that has served them well for dozens of centuries. That Jews have been able to survive at all seems miraculous, considering the fact that until recently, Jews were largely forbidden from owning land and property and from most skilled occupations--including crafts and guilds--and were forced to take up the most distasteful occupation among Christians: money lending.

A Convenient Hatred is a profoundly authoritative resource for educators. Its examples, stories, references, maps, pictures, and illustrations bring the history of the Jews to life in a powerful way not experienced since James Michener's The Source, a work of fiction.

A Convenient Hatred communicates the magnitude of anti-Jewish prejudice throughout the centuries, offering well-researched examples of why so many people throughout time have found it convenient to hate Jews. A Convenient Hatred belongs globally in every high-school history classroom. With impeccable references and well-researched examples, Ms. Goldstein has created a tour de force.

The author carefully examines the origins of anti-Semitism in an age when Jews were forced from their ancestral homes and temples in ancient Israel to Europe and Asia. She methodically details the separation of Jews from Christians leading to centuries of Jewish slavery, incarceration, and extermination during the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, The Reformation, and the English Expulsion.

The rise of the Islamic empire and holy wars are also carefully explored. Centuries of intolerance produced the Diaspora, in which Jews fled to safe haven in places far and wide, but were again faced with extermination when blamed for the Black Death (plague) across Europe. This marked a period in which Jews were charged with ritual murder and blood libel; as well, the Talmud was universally attacked by Christians and Muslims. Jews were also almost universally oppressed during the Dark Ages. They sought reprieve in places as disparate as Poland and the Ottoman Empire. But for hundreds of years, Jews remained ostracized, antagonized, and isolated.

The ages of enlightenment and nationalism are also painstakingly explored. Ms. Goldstein proffers "the power of publicity" as a tool used by anti-Semites to attack and condemn Jews in a prolific manner.

The same level of discriminating detail continues in an examination of anti-Semitism during Renaissance France and Russia, continuing into the age of nationalism and World War I. Ms. Goldstein carefully describes the consistent deleterious effect of anti-Jewish propaganda in incongruent Renaissance societies with France being democratic and Russia communist.

The age of written communication via printing presses almost immediately delivered anti-Semitic books, such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, one of the most significant attacks upon Jews. She describes Hitler's rise to power largely upon the backs of Jews, through propaganda and putsches by the proletariat against Germany's Jewish population. The "turning point" came in 1941 with the Nazi establishment of the "Final Solution to the Jewish question."

Finally, Ms. Goldstein adroitly illustrates anti-Semitism after the Holocaust, throughout the Cold War, and into contemporary society, which she calls, "a convenient hatred." Here, nationalism and xenophobia collide in a perfect storm of bigotry and persecution. The result of this collision is a brainwashing of impoverished youth, the economically and socially oppressed, and the politically disadvantaged, resulting in a unified hatred of all things Jewish, especially Israel.

Ms. Goldstein calls to mind a speech by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, in which he states that we cannot judge contemporary Germans for the genocide perpetrated by their ancestors. At the same time, all Germans can be held accountable for preserving the memory of the Holocaust--for its link from past to future holds in the balance the potential for the survival of the human spirit as well as the destiny of the Jewish people.

A Convenient Hatred is a powerful, historically astute, contemporary masterpiece and a superb illustration of prejudice. It is a groundbreaking educational tool and an indispensable textbook for students of history, anthropology, psychology, and sociology. Phyllis Goldstein's cogent examination of the history of anti-Semitism is a seminal work, lucidly explaining the magnitude of illogical hatred and its centuries-old influence against the Jews.

Charles S. Weinblatt
Author, Jacob's Courage
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on January 1, 2012
I am almost half way through the book (~350 readable pages) and started reading this only 2 days ago. I consider myself a slow reader but this book and subject matter is very interesting and reads easily. I never understood why the world hates Jews no matter where they are, who they are, or what they do but this book explains it clearly using historical documents and eyewitness accounts. This book does a great job of showing exactly where the hatred and antisemitism started, how it evolved, how and why it was and continues to be perpetuated. If I were a member of the school board, this is a book that I would make required reading for every highschooler. Any one with an interest in either world history, history of antisemitism, and even history of Israel would appreciate having read it. Phyllis Goldstein has written one of the best history books in my opinion.
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on March 23, 2012
My formal education ended at the age of thirteen. I had no chance to learn the history of anti-Semitism. Phyllis Goldstein in A CONVENIENT HATRED enlightens me; I am grateful for her extensive research. This book narrates chronologically where and when the hatred started. How anti-Semitism evolved from Alexandria, Egypt in the 3rd century BCE through the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel. Then, the book focuses on Modern-day anti-Semitism. Anybody with an interest in world history, the awful history anti-Semitism, and the history of Israel would find Phyllis Goldstein's book an essential text book.

As a little boy, I was wondering why some Christian kids didn't like me, because I was a Jewish kid. During the Holocaust, I saw the Germans looting, beating, torturing, shooting and hanging innocent Jewish people. At the age of 13, the Nazis foisted upon me and my loved once unimaginable acts of extreme wickedness, as reflected in my autobiography From a Name to A Number. I didn't understand at the age of 13 why I was hated by some Poles. How could they consider me to be an outsider while I was a native of Poland? In the sixteenth century the Jews in Rome, were required to wear yellow hats, to be distinctive from all the others. Under the German occupation, I was required to wear the Yellow Star of David. Why did the Nazis decide to doom Jewish children even before they were born? In the eleventh century the Crusaders gave the Jews of Mainz, the capital of the German federal state of Rhineland, and other communities, a choice of death or Christianity (p 68). In the twentieth century Nazi Germany gave me and my co-religionists no option other than to surrender to persecution and eventual annihilation. Now, at the age of 86, I still can't find a justification or a valid reason for being hated by so many for so long.

Reading CONVENIENT HATRED will lead any open minded person to realize that the pernicious foundations of animosity against the Jews, from ancient time to nowadays, is absurd. For example, Jews were charged with ritual murder. Accusations were made that Jews killed Christian children as part of their Passover ritual. Rumors were always embellished in the retelling. All rumors were baseless. A poignant case is illustrated on page 82: In 1255, Hugh, a five-year old boy, was found dead in a well in Lincoln, England. He probably accidentally fell into the well, but the Christians in Lincoln were certain that Hugh was a victim of Jewish ritual murder. 700 years later, in 1955 an installed plaque in Lincoln reads "Trumped up stories of `ritual murders' of Christian Boys by Jewish communities were common throughout Europe during the Middle Ages and even much later. These fictions cost many innocent Jews their lives. Such stories do not redound to the credit of Christendom. We pray: Lord, forgive what we have been, amend what we are, and direct what we shall be."
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on February 3, 2012
As an urban public high school chemistry teacher my usual home reading is fiction for entertainment. This book appeared too important to ignore.
Many people believe that the success of individual Jews proves antisemitism no longer exists. There has been improvement but Nazi Germany is part of modern history. Pope John the XXIII excused the Jews of blame for the death of Christ, part of Catholic dogma for almost 2000 years, only 60 years ago.
Today Jews get blamed for the failures of Wall Street and almost every problem in the Islamic world.
Unfortunately, this excellent work is too relevant in current events. The contemporary style makes the book especially readable, informative and disturbing. I learned things I didn't want to know but the issues can effect all of us.
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on March 1, 2012
I bought this book because I have been married to a Jewish man for 46 years. I also converted to Judasim because when we married we couldn't do it without my converting. Also because I liked the religion. I was well accepted into the family and always treated wonderfully by them and their friends. I wanted to know about Antisemitism.
The book made a huge impression on me - I had no idea that the Jews have never had peace since the first 400 years in Palestine. I'd heard stories about how people think they killed Jesus, even though Jesus was a Jew himself and the Romans actually killed Jesus. I was horrified about how they were vilified, hated, killed, shunned and lied about through all of history. I had always heard stories from my husband's family, and I can see that the Jews in the US seem to be safer than anyplace else. I do know that horrible antisemitism exists in the US - I know about the hate groups - part of my own family were antisemites, and weren't told when my husband and I were married. But I had no idea of the history and horrible cruelty that always has existed. Of course I was aware of the holocaust and Baba Yar, but not of so many other mass killings. This book made a very great impression on me. I highly recommend it.
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on October 6, 2014
A well researched history of Jewish hatred without pulling punches.
Ms Goldstein portrays the events with an objective lens that neither lauds nor condemns the unfolding history leading to our present state of increasing anti-semitism.
A lot of facts to absorb, but with many surprises of how adaptable Jews became to thwart the obstacles before them.
I have come to my own conclusion of why Jews are so hated throughout history and it's not because of jealousy or holier than thou or our different cultures, or strange rituals. I believe it's because we brought ethics and morality into a pagan world who still thinks it's a burden on our natural instincts to do mischief and not have to answer to a higher authority. We were commanded to be a light unto the nations and to be a congregation of priests. For many that's a burden too hard to bear and resent the Jews for spreading the tenents of the laws of Sinai.
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on November 5, 2012
Over the years, I'd read a number of books on anti-Semitism. & I found this one to be the most interesting of them.

The book looks into the history of anti-Semitism from Biblical times to now. From the final split between Judaism & Christianity during the late Roman Era to the middle ages- when the stories of Jews using Gentile blood to make bread for Passover 1st surfaced-which is absurd, esp. considering the strict Kosher dietary laws that Jewish people must follow. Also of note is how the author talks about The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a book that despite being long debunked, is still believed as truth in certain parts of the world. I also enjoy reading parts of the book that look into European anti-Semitism in the years prior to the rise of Nazi Germany & the Holocaust that followed.

Today much of the anti-Semitism is from the Middle East esp. since the birth of the state of Israel in 1948. That said, this book feels more like a college textbook than your normal nonfiction title with the notes being at the end of each chapter, rather than the end of the books. Still, it is one of the better books on the subject of anti-Semitism & why we should be concerned about it.
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on January 29, 2012
This book is a very useful resource for those who wish to learn or teach about anti-Semitism. It casts a wide net in enough detail so that one can concentrate on different periods, different areas of the world, and different religions.
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on November 4, 2014
When I started the book I realized that I really didn't know the details of the prejudice that followed so many Jewish people wherever
they went. I think the author presented the problems in a clear way that enabled me to feel that I can better understand the obstacles they had to overcome.
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on June 28, 2015
"A Convenient Hatred" is the best book I have read in years. I purchased the book to assist me in writing a Biblical Worldview course on why America must support Israel and found it to be worthy of a course on it's own and then some. The book will bring you to tears as well as arouse anger to the nth. If you do not believe that history repeats itself then read what Phyllis Goldstein has to say. If you believe the church did what it could to stop the extermination of the bulk of the Jews in Europe then think again.
This history of anti-Semitism reads like fiction (wish it were so) and is chocked full of pictures.
A keeper. A treasure.
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