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A Lie and a Libel: The History of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion Hardcover – December 1, 1995

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 148 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (December 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803242433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803242432
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,773,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

German Jewish journalist Segel wrote his expose of the forgery behind the anti-Semitic Protocols back in 1926, with history professor Levy adding his own analysis of the book's endurance as a propaganda tool.

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

Created in Paris at the turn of the century under the supervision of the Russian secret police, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a clumsy forgery purporting to be evidence of a Jewish plot to take over the world and reduce non-Jews to slavery. The plot was adopted as official ideology by Hitler's regime and disseminated throughout the United States by industrialist Henry Ford; it circulates today with renewed virulence in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Binjamin Segel published a massive expose of the Protocols in 1926 in Germany. In about 100 pages of selected translation and 50 pages of his own criticism, editor Levy (history, Univ. of Illinois-Chicago) here examines two distinct avenues?the conspiratorial and the anti-Semitic?through which the Protocols have been able to wield political influence over frightened and angry people. "Although the prospect of imminent Jewish triumph might be horrifying, knowledge of the conspiracy, as Hitler promised in Mein Kampf, would render it conquerable." An essential addition for all Judaic studies and history collections.?Marcie Zwaik, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By I. Linderman on March 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is Richard Levy's 1995 translation of Segel's 1926 abbreviated version of his original (1924) longer, more scholarly work, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Critically Illuminated. It is a point-by-point refutation of this fraudulent document, and an indispensable reference. It is indexed, and includes a chronology of the hoax, as well as an updated bibliography. This particular edition includes an introduction by translator Richard S. Levy that would be worth a volume of its own. The following is based on that introduction.

While Segel's work is authoritative, Levy recognizes that logical, scholarly examination of this fraud has had little effect:

"The patent absurdity of the [Protocols] has had little or no bearing on its credibility for a large and varied public. ... devastating and authoritative judgments have failed to put an end to the book."

Perhaps the best example of Levy's point is Hitler's comment in Mein Kampf that Segel denying "the truth of the Protocols was the best proof of their authority." This was precisely argument employed to such effect in 1692 Salem: To doubt an accuser was to open oneself to accusation: Who but a member of the conspiracy denies it?

As outlined in Festinger's 1956 study, When Prophecy Fails, and more recently, in Susan Clancy's Abducted: how people come to believe they were kidnapped by aliens, the allure of conspiracies is well-known: Readers are "invite[d] to join the elite of those in the know." Moreover, "the [Protocols of the Elders of Zion] addresses an audience not thought capable of sustained reasoning. ... For many, the least likely explanation of great events seems the best because it is also the most effortless." Segel's arguments are therefore inaccessible to many for precisely this reason.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful By B. Cilia on August 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Segel's attempt to discredit the Protocols is successful, as is his exposition of its origins and effects on modern society. However, his writing is wrought with sarcasm and fallacious appeals to popularity. His passion is overwhelming at times, distracting the reader from the core points with bombastic remarks. This topic should be required reading due to the serious implications of the fraud of the Protocols, but readers would be best served to find a version by a different author.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Seth J. Frantzman HALL OF FAME on October 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
THis is one of the few books dedicated solely to exposing the hoax that is the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' text. This author shows definitevly how it was created by the Czars men to discredit Judaism and cause progroms against the powerful Jews of Moscow and Odessa.
This book is an importnat book in the pnathyon of books that seek to explain anti-semitism. Recently the 'Elder' text has had a comback as it has been reprinted in its most viscous form, with no introduction explasining its fabircation, in Muslim countries like Egypt and Saudi and at least one un-truthful copy can be purchased on this website. Its sad to see these anti-semetic texts are still in circulation and widely beleived to be true by the ignorant and the hateful. This book helps unmask the ignorant and shed light on the fabrication that is the 'Elders' Text
A good read, highly recommended.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Bold on May 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Once while discussing the mythical "Religious Right" on an e-list, Ann Coulter's debunking of the myth in her book _Slander_ came up.

"Of course she'd say it doesn't exist," a young liberal observed. "She belongs to it."

We see the same reaction in neo-Nazis towards attempts to discredit the equally absurd "the Protocols are authentic" myth.

"Of course a Jew would say there's no Jewish conspiracy -- what do you expect from a Jew?"

We live in an age where Holocaust victims are dying, costing us their first-hand information. And at least one member of the House of Representatives (Cynthia McKinney, D-GA) uses the words "Jew" and "Israeli" interchangeably during her antisemitic rants (Ms McKinney has even blamed Jews for causing her to lose a primary in 2002; sadly, she's back in office).

Like books against Communism, we need to have books against antisemitism, too. And this one is a great book.
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