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Jews and Money: The Story of a Stereotype Hardcover – November 9, 2010

2.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Foxman has dedicated himself to fighting anti-Semitism and all kinds of bigotry. In the wake of the Madoff scandal, Foxman (The Deadliest Lies) and his ADL colleagues saw a flood of anti-Semitic comments on mainstream and extremist Web sites, prompting him to explore age-old unfair stereotypes about Jews and money. Many of Foxman's arguments against the myths are familiar, beginning with the New Testament story of Judas betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver-- symbol for medieval Christians of Jewish treachery motivated by greed. Foxman says that the image of Jew as moneylender has become an element in some Muslims' anti-Semitism (as Islam forbids usury), and he shows that anti-Semitic beliefs have become alarmingly popular in Japan. The author contends that Jewish religion and tradition are exceptional for their special emphasis on generosity, charity, and fair economic dealings. To combat irrational bigotry, he urges Jews to "live good lives according to their best values" without being defensive--and stresses that all Americans be committed to opposing hatred no matter what group is being victimized. His lucid and authoritative book makes many valid points, but it's also familiar and platitudinous, preaching to the converted. (Nov.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“Lucid and authoritative” ―Publisher's Weekly

“Foxman made a genuine contribution and a worthy attempt to speak truth to nonsense...” ―The Jerusalem Post

“Indefatigable Anti-Defamation League director Foxman applies common sense against entrenched hatred, challenging patent bigotry with plain truths about Jews and money... A gentlemanly exhortation to communicate and get involved in the fight against an ancient evil. ” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Abe Foxman has written with significant insight on a stereotype that should be eradicated. His perspective clears a path towards enlightenment and is fascinating. A must-read.” ―Donald J. Trump

“Foxman's book serves as an important wake-up call– alerting readers to continuing prejudice and stereotyping of Jews, both positively and negatively, which swirls around the mainstream of American culture. "Jews and Money" takes readers through an easy to digest and informative journey, documenting the origins and growth of bias and bigotry against Jews from birth of Christianity through current times, focusing on the subtle as well as blatant forms of prejudice today, and the role of the media and the internet.” ―Andrew Tisch, Co-Chairman, Loews Corporation

“This book captures the historic complexity that remarkably remains an issue of keen sensitivity even today. The words "Jews and money" have an ugly resonance that most of us can't forget. Even for a subject that has been deeply explored, this book offers many new and worthwhile insights.” ―Michael Steinhardt, Chairman of the Board of Israel Energy Initiatives Ltd, IDT Corporation

“Timely, sensible, and highly readable, this volume explodes popular myths concerning Jews and money, and reminds us that stereotypes matter and anti-Semitism remains a problem. Full of common sense ideas for how to make our world ‘a more tolerant, open-minded, and freedom-loving place.'” ―Jonathan D. Sarna, Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and author of American Judaism: A History

“Abe Foxman looks at some long-standing stereotypes about Jewish people that have no place in the business world, or any world for that matter. He provides important information that will educate others, combat bigotry, and promote religious and economic freedom.” ―Rupert Murdoch, Chairman & CEO, News Corporation


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1St Edition edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230623859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230623859
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,601,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Abe Foxman's new book, Jews & Money: The Story of a Stereotype, is not worth very much. It is extremely short: 233 double-spaced pages with wide margins. It also simply doesn't add much to the conversation: if you have ever read a book about anti-Semitism before, such as Perry and Schweitzer's Anti-Semitism or Jerry Muller's recent Capitalism and the Jews, then you will learn scant anything. Foxman's book begins with a summary of the history of the Homo judaicus economicus stereotype, a stereotype that is discussed in much more detail in the two books listed above (I highly recommend Muller's book). Foxman's discussion of this history is superficial, as he makes several mistakes and rhetorical sleights of hand: for example, he says that Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire; that anti-Semitism is the oldest racism; and that the "den of thieves" passage of the Christian New Testament (Synoptic Gospels) is not a reference to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem but to some sort of "Court of the Gentiles".

Further in the book Foxman mines the depths of the internet in order to find examples of money-related anti-Semitism in today's world: that is to say, he relies on anonymous comments in forums and news websites ad nauseam. Foxman's discussion of the internet, like most of his other discussions, is terribly cliched: he says things like, "most people use the internet for benign purposes, but some don't", repeatedly in the chapter "When Everyone has a Megaphone". Foxman's more definitive indictments are not entirely convincing, either.
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Format: Hardcover
Having covered Abraham Foxman as a journalist for more than 15 years now, I've come to marvel at his ability to insert himself into the center of newsworthy controversies, whether it is by angering left-wingers by opposing the mosque and swimming pool near ground zero, or angering right-wingers by denouncing Glenn Beck's coverage of George Soros only weeks after sending Mr. Beck a letter lauding Mr. Beck as "a friend of the Jewish people, and a friend of Israel."

So leave it to Mr. Foxman to find an angle into the story of the worldwide financial downturn, which he does in his new book, Jews and Money.

There are some real insights here. Much of the book is an argument that, when it comes to money, Jews aren't really all that much different from anyone else, and a complaint that the perception that the Jews are different is a powerful and potentially pernicious stereotype.

Mr. Foxman notes, for instance, that a profile of Bernard Madoff published in the New York Times two days after his arrest "managed to use the word 'Jewish' three times in its first nine paragraphs," while a similar Times profile of another person accused of Madoff-style financial fraud, Robert Allen Stanford, mentioned Stanford's religion (Southern Baptist, apparently) not once.

Mr. Foxman marshals statistics and anecdotes to debunk some of the stereotypes about Jews and money. Plenty of Jews are poor -- hundreds of thousands of them in America alone. And plenty of rich people aren't Jewish, including Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Plenty of powerful people in Hollywood aren't Jewish, either.

Yet the stereotypes about Jews and money seem to have a powerful hold, Mr. Foxman records.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Foxman should have given more history of the Jews going back 2,000 years, including their
existence in other than the USA. Russian pale
Jews were confined to ghettos, not able to
mix with the rest of the population. Most of them were dirt poor, baring existing. Yes, there were others, who managed successful enterprises..trade, etc., who we don't hear about. There are millionsof Jews in the USA and Israel at the poverty line (US definition) who depend on charity, food stamps, SNAP, SSI, etc.
But the media, and entertainment give the wrong impression that we are all in the top 1 percent, Wall Street banker types. For every
CPA and attorney, there are 100 who have ordinary trades, or work in factories. But Foxman knows that the haters will never mention these people. To that extent Foxman and his
organization are a counter to the radicals, both left and right.
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Format: Hardcover
There's no telling why this book was written. Anti-Semitism of Hitler, Father Coughlin and Louis Farakhan is very old news. Reaction to Bernie Madoff is newer, but hardly a reason to revive this issue. It is only halfway through the book before anything new is presented.

Deploring stereotypes, Foxman rightly cites Jewish devotion to charitable principles in refutation and some observations that Jews are pretty much like everyone else in terms of wealth. He then introduces the reader to what he calls the three pillars of anti-Semitism. No compensating analysis is presented on why Jews are over represented in the fields of economics, finance and physical science. More interesting is the author's personal observations in Poland and a chapter on Internet blogging arranged by nationalities.

The worst thing about the book is the blatant use of the anti-Semitism theme for politicizing. According to Foxman, Hispanics are undergoing the same struggles as earlier Jews. He attributes anti-Semitism to followers of the Tea Party. Claiming anti-Semitism as a political issue destroys credibility of the writer and his ADL sponsor.

Foxman says that he declines to debate the anti-Semitic issue on the grounds that anti-Semitism has no logical basis. The reluctance is understandable as Foxman would be grossly over-matched by the likes of Edward Said, Hanan Ashrawy, Noam Chomsky or even Pat Robertson. His reluctance to debate brings up the obvious question: why write this book? Lucky Foxman, being able to pick his own opponents, Pat Robinson and Rush Limbaugh. Foxman is disingenuous in setting up Limbaugh as the most influential conservative spokesman. The writer then treats us to some vague religious allusions by his imaginary dragon.
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