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Yes, But Is It Good for the Jews?: A Beginner's Guide, Volume 1 Hardcover – October 3, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

London literary agent Geller revolves his mock science of Judology around an equation that weighs the potential for anti-Semitic backlash, links to Jewish culture and worldwide cultural influence to determine whether a given subject is, as the old saying goes, "Good for the Jews" or "Not Good for the Jews." Of course, the numbers turn out to be largely meaningless, as the real substance of Geller's evaluations lie in his idiosyncratic commentaries. In some cases, the effort to find a Jewish connection feels strained, and most of the discussions are lightweight. The Godfather films, for example, are Good because they diverted attention from Jewish gangsters, while Nigella Lawson's love of ham and pork dishes make her Not Good. But there are thoughtful discussions of subjects like eBay's policy against allowing auctions of Nazi memorabilia and the impact of TiVo on Orthodox TV viewing. A lengthy section toward the end assesses various countries for their suitability as vacation spots, and a recurring sidebar presents a world history timeline from a Jewish perspective (the Louisiana Purchase is dubbed "a sweet kosher deal"). Unfortunately, there's really only one joke here, and though it's amusing in small doses, it can't sustain the entire book. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In the 1950s, it was common for Jewish kids to hear their parents whispering about current events: "Is it good for the Jews?" (The Rosenbergs--not so much.) Apparently, the whispering is still going on, prompting Geller to come up with a formula to answer all the questions. Here's how it works: anti-Semitic factor plus impact on the world times the level of Jewishness equals Tzurus (i.e., trouble) divided by seven equals good or not good for the Jews. Grouped alphabetically, the list of topics Geller rates on this scale constitutes an eclectic mix of bedfellows: alcohol is next to the Amish, and K-Y Jelly snuggles beside Karma. After each entry comes a definition and some examples of the term and an explanation of what went into the rating. There are surprises: Monica Lewinsky--good for the Jews! Andrew Lloyd Webber--not good for the Jews! Sidebars include lists of anti--Semitic writers (Roald Dahl, Agatha Christie, and Graham Greene, among others). He doesn't address Mel Gibson, but let's guess: not good for the Jews. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596912057
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596912052
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,831,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve G on March 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A word of warning to the reader; this book is not a cohesive story that one reads from the front cover to the back. It consists of an encyclopedia-style collection of entries of those elements that the author has rated as being good or bad for Jews. Having said that, then typical of Jewish humor, the author plays on Jewish insecurity. This book was not written for non-Jews; its charm is in the reader recognizing themselves and their own sensitivities. This book was also not written for Jews who cannot laugh at themselves. For these readers, the satire will be lost. If however, you are Jewish and insecure and yet can laugh at yourself, then I recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Y. Gitlin on January 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is utterly hilarious and definitly something you'll want to give to your friends and family. It's totally readable straight through but also the perfect book to come back to again and again. Geller does a great job of bringing together the facts and the funny and i certainly felt smarter and more clever after reading it. I promise that you'll never look at "Bewithed," Vidal Sassoon, or "Star Wars" the same way again.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those books I wanted to like a lot better than I did. I understood it to be the kind of book which might interest certain highly assimilated Jews a bit more in their own Jewishness.

But the fare here is really not that attractive. The book is really a long commentary on pop- culture , on fashions of the hour.

It also does not provide any real argument in asserting something to be good or bad for the Jews. And in a way makes the whole question seem ridiculous. I might add for me it is not a ridiculous question but a most important one.

There is no effort to deal with any serious political issue. For instance at this moment the state of Israel is threatened by a leader aiming at nuclear weapons who has said he will 'wipe out the Zionist state'. I imagine that I serious book on a subject of what is good or not good for the Jews would touch upon a threat like this.

The book has inaccuracies . It lists Mark Twain as one of the worst writers in attitudes towards the Jews. In fact the truth is overwhelmingly the opposite and Twain wrote most friendly and appreciatve words about the Jewish people.

The book does have humor at certain points. I did get a few chuckles going through it.

And I suppose a few chuckles is better than none at all.
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