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From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews, and Israel (Studies in Antisemitism) Hardcover – June 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a magisterial work, providing a comprehensive understanding of the origins of the most pernicious challenges currently facing the Jewish people, especially those originating from the enemy within."—Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post
(Isi Leibler Jerusalem Post)

"With this politically urgent and morally compelling study, Wistrich offers a thoroughly researched and demystifying exploration of leftist biases, stereotypes and delusions regarding Jews, Judaism and the state of Israel."—Vladimir Tismaneanu, International Affairs
(Vladimir Tismaneanu International Affairs)

"Professor Wistrich has now written some 30 scholarly books on Jewish history and philosophy, but his work has been dominated by the subject of anti-Semitism. This book is his finest and most comprehensive on the subject."—Stephen Daisley, Standpoint
(Stephen Daisley Standpoint)

About the Author

Robert S. Wistrich (1945–2015) was the Neuburger Professor of European and Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism. He is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad (2010) and Laboratory for World Destruction: Germans and Jews in Central Europe (Nebraska, 2007).
 
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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Antisemitism
  • Hardcover: 648 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803240767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803240766
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #930,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Werner Cohn on July 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once again Professor Wistrich has given us the fruits of his great erudition and deep learning. Again his subject is contemporary anti-Semitism. This time he focuses on the following paradox: the protagonists of the political Left in the West -- who never cease to proclaim their attachment to the Enlightenment and human values -- have joined the Islamists of the Middle East in a war of malice and defamation against Israel and the Jews.

In telling his story, Professor Wistrich goes deeply into the history of European movements and ideas of the 19th and 20th centuries. The details often make painful reading. I am happy to have this new volume on my book shelves, where it shares space with a number of Wistrich's earlier books, and also with the books of other scholars (for instance Anthony Julius's "The Trials of the Diaspora"). This body of work is our first line of defense against the premier malice of our time, the doctrine that calls itself "anti-Zionism" but is in fact anti-Judaism writ large.

I do have a small proviso: The story as a whole depends on its treatment of detail. And in its function as a work of reference, easy access to the details is essential. Yet the index, which should be a key to this detail, is woefully inadequate. Many of the phenomena that are described in the book (for example the British let-wing movements Respect and the Socialist Workers Party, among many others) cannot be found in the index.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By JSJ on November 4, 2012
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This 600 page tome thoroughly documents the rarely-mentioned antisemitism that was (and continues to be) a major problem for the political left. The progressive socialist utopian theories promoted by the secular leftist intellectuals of 19th century - hostility towards religion, class-hate, anti-capitalism - fueled hatred of Jewish society and made a political science out of medieval classic antisemitism. It's fascinating that so many of the leaders of this movement - including Marx - were secular Jews, who were hostile to Judaism and Zionism.

This book couldn't come at a more critical time. Hostility towards religion (except Islam), class-hate (the one percent vs. the 99%), anti-capitalism (Occupy Wall Street & Obamunism), and Israel's political isolation are alive and well in Left-wing circles today. If the Socialist Left consolidates even more power in the coming years, pray that history does not repeat itself!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark S. Saka on March 30, 2013
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This book provides a critical intellectual history of antisemitism as it journeyed through the political left in 19th-century European thought through the 20th-century's totalitarian tragedies of Fascism, Communism, the New Left, and radicalized Islam. It is meticulously researched and provides a balanced view for someone like myself who always interpreted antisemitism as a "right-wing" or ultra-conservative ideology. The book illuminates the destructive thread of antisemitism in leftist ideological movements and thought. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Mamelak on February 18, 2013
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This subject, the transfer of antisemitic attitudes from the Right to the Left needs exposure.This is the only book I noticed that addressed this subject squarely
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steven B. Weinberg on April 25, 2013
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If you want to know the history and evolution of Marxist thought into today's "progressive" liberalism, and why so many on the left are die in the wool anti-Semites, hiding behind the guise of merely being "anti-Zionists," then this book is a must read.
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