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Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism Paperback – November 13, 2003


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Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism + A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, with Diaspora Peoples + The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (November 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1410792617
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410792617
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #642,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kevin MacDonald is Professor of Psychology atCalifornia State University-Long Beach, Long Beach, CA 90840-0901, USA. Hisresearch has focused on developing evolutionary perspectives in history anddevelopmental psychology. After receiving a Masters degree in evolutionarybiology, he received a Ph.D. in biobehavioral sciences at the University ofConnecticut working on behavioral development in wolves, and he continueddevelopmental research during a post-doctoral fellowship at the University ofIllinois performing research on human parent-child play. His research hasfocused on developing evolutionary perspectives in developmental psychology. Hehas also authored four books, Social andPersonality Development: An Evolutionary Synthesis (NY: Plenum, 1988) and A People that Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism asa Group Evolutionary Strategy (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1994), Separation and Its Discontents: Toward anEvolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (Westport, CT, 1998), and The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysisof Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements(Westport, CT, 1998).

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101 of 115 people found the following review helpful By William B. Colohan on April 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Judaism, like any culture, has at times been insular and ethnocentric in its pursuits. There is nothing surprising about this fact. MacDonald, in my opinion, does an excellent job in presenting unbiased facts. Since facts, viewed in their entirety, are not always flattering (again, as would be the case with any culture) some would like to dismiss them as anti-Semitic. This is preposterous.
MacDonald meticulously takes you through the history of the Jews and provides quotes from notables and facts of that time, both pro and con. At various times Jews have been treated harshly. Why would anyone NOT want to try to understand how and why this happened, in hopes that it would never happen again?
To simply say he is at times quoting some people who said less than flattering things about certain Jews at certain times, is to bury your head in the sand.
I can only say, read the book and draw your own conclusions. Don't let someone else tell you how you should think.
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115 of 133 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Hilton on November 11, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In the red corner is Daniel Goldhagen, on a winning streak with his book, Hitler1s Willing Executioners, which rules out several conceivable 3causes2 of the European massacre of Jews, before finally deciding that the real culprit was a totally, 100% fantasized delusion, shared by most Germans, that a relatively minuscule group of Jews constituted a danger. In the blue corner, is Kevin MacDonald1s Separation and Its Discontents (SAID), his second volume on Judaism as an 3evolutionary group strategy2, this one documenting the idea that while humans everywhere are prone to ethnocentric, exaggerated fantasy, along with that exaggeration there is often, nevertheless, a much more prosaic 3cause2 of massacres, namely an intense competition for resources. SAID examines historical evidence, often from Jewish historians, from the standpoint of the (Darwinian) biological and social evolution of ethnic group strategies and of 3social identity theory2, the currently influential articulation of the linkages between cognitive processes such as group categorization and social motivational processes. It will be a valuable companion to other books on numerically small ethnies who have survived in the diaspora (e.g., Hutterites). (Do some attract less hostility than others?) This is an academic book, but accessible enough for readers of, say, the Economist or the Atlantic. MacDonald1s work is an 3emperor-has-no-clothes2 , challenge to much conventional wisdom about anti-Semitism. Competition for resources is easily not thought of as a 3cause2 of anti-Semitism given that Jewish economic activities are considered by so many (especially Jews) as perfectly normal, productive, and non-violent , so what1s the big deal?Read more ›
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85 of 99 people found the following review helpful By southpaw68 VINE VOICE on April 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Kevin MacDonald explores the Jew/Gentile conflict from the late Roman era to the present in this volume. He thinks that gentiles turn to collectivism in response to Jewish collectivism in order to protect themselves from exploitation. In the Late Roman empire, Christianity established itself as a strongly anti-Semitic religion in its theology. As Christians gained power in civic government, they passed laws to limit Jewish exploitation of gentile Christians such as laws forbidding Jews to own Christian slaves or Christian female servants. This is not to say that the formerly Pagan Rome was not anti-Semitic, but that Christian Rome may have been more systematic in its anti-Semitism, from what I gathered from reading this section. Pagan Rome's main complaint against Jews was their resistance to assimilating into the universalist culture of Rome.
MacDonald covers the complaints of anti-Semites against Jews in various ages such as the Middle Ages which he views as another age in which Christianity and the church turned towards collectivism to combat the political and economic power of the Jews, especially the Marranos, those Jews in Spain especially, who were pressured into converting to Christianity as a way of forcing them to assimilate. It didn't work. The Marranos were mostly crypto-Jews that professed Christianity outwardly, but still married other Marrano Jews and practiced Jewish rituals secretly and generally shunned Christian rituals when they could. This generally confirmed Judaism as a religion based on keeping the purity of the Jewish race. Jews became upwardly mobile in this period within the church and civil society, but still were not truly Christian.
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74 of 88 people found the following review helpful By nuenke@ix.netcom.com on December 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Eugenics is a rather easy endeavor, one that has been used by farmers and breeders for thousands of years, without understanding the genetic principles involved. And nations likewise have been concerned about the quality of the gene pool, without understanding what mechanisms were responsible. Only in the last fifty years, because of propaganda and the Holocaust, have we turned our backs on what has been evident to most people for thousands of years--if one group reproduces faster than another, then the genetic capital or quality of the average citizen will change. And typically, wealth has improved only to set up the mechanisms for dysgenic family practices to occur, the elite stop having as many children as the underclass. In Kevin MacDonald's first book in 1994, A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy--as part of the Seymour W. Itzkoff series on Human Evolution, Behavior, and Intelligence--he discusses how Jewish eugenic practices led to the increase in intelligence of Western Jews to a level far above the average of the people they lived among. Jews average IQ is now 117 versus an average of 103 for Caucasians. His book details how this came about, using a selection process for intelligence that included not allowing outsiders to become Jews, while encouraging the less intelligent Jews to defect. So we know from this model that eugenics works and it is very beneficial for those who practice it. The problem is, the structure of Western culture is highly dysgenic for non-Jews and will remain that way until we can change the way we behave in the context of structuring participating population groups in a program to raise the average intelligence.Read more ›
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