From Library Journal
In this very thorough interpretive history, Lindemann (history, Univ. of California at Santa Barbara) traces anti-Semitism from approximately 1870 until the rise of Hitler. Lindemann argues provocatively that with the rise of Jews in intellectual matters, politics, and commerce, a modern ideology of anti-Semitism likewise arose, aimed primarily at curbing what its advocates perceived as "the power of the Jews." Lindemann argues that this new anti-Semitism likewise varied in intensity from country to country and was usually not a central factor in the lives of either Jews or Gentiles. The most interesting section discusses the relationship between 19th-century socialism and anti-Semitism. Written in a popular style, this book can be recommended for both larger public libraries and academic libraries.?Mark Weber, Kent State Univ. Lib., Ohio
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
A richly informative, if highly problematic, overview of anti- Jewish bigotry and violence between the 1870s, when the term ``anti-Semitism'' was coined, and the Holocaust. Lindemann (History/Univ. of Calif., Santa Barbara), who has written previously on Dreyfus and other anti-Semitic cases, here focuses largely on Germany and France, with lesser attention to Russia, Great Britain, the US, Italy, Hungary, and Romania. (Curiously, a section on the interwar years almost entirely omits Poland, a country with a deep anti-Semitic tradition.) He correctly posits an indirect line between the racist anti-Semitism that characterized the beginning of the period and what Daniel Goldhagen calls the ``eliminationist'' ethos that led to the Holocaust. Lindemann also makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of both long-term socioeconomic and short-term political contingencies behind the expression of anti-Semitism. He reveals the ``comparative quality and texture in expressions of anti-Jewish sentiment'' by demonstrating that most major anti-Semites and philo-Semites were more complex than their labels would indicate. However, Lindemann's penchant for nuance ultimately takes its toll. While there is an indisputable correlation between the rise of Jewish power and influence during the 19th and 20th centuries and the intensification of political and intellectual anti-Semitism, the author comes very close to suggesting that there is a clear-cut causal relationship between the two. Thus, he refers to modern anti-Semitism as ``transparently an ideology of revenge'' and alludes to the supposed ``Jewish sense of superiority (including certain kinds of measurable Jewish superiority) and the envy/hatred it has engendered.'' Finally, Lindemann, who calls for scholars to engage in a nonpolemical study of anti-Semitism, himself lapses into highly charged statements and rhetorical questions in an odd, rambling conclusion. There's much provocative, compelling material here, but the author's conclusions are too often contradictory or unpersuasive. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.