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In Search of Anti-Semitism Paperback – November, 1993

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This volume reprints Buckley's lengthy, genteel, circuitous National Review essay, in which he reached the pained conclusion that his fellow conservative Patrick Buchanan, the reactionary former presidential candidate, is anti-Semitic. In the same piece, Buckley levels charges of anti-Semitism at his friend and fellow conservative, syndicated columnist Joseph Sobran, and at left-liberal Gore Vidal, who asserted in a Nation article that American Jews have twin loyalties. Further, Buckley exonerates of charges of anti-Semitism the Dartmouth Review, which in a 1988 article compared Dartmouth's Jewish president, James Freedman, to Adolf Hitler, and which once ran a Nazi slogan on its masthead. Also included is Sobran's indignant, defiant rebuttal, as well as letters to the National Review, praising or condemning Buckley's essay, by Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol, A. M. Rosenthal, Robert Novak and others. Buckley's rejoinders to the letters and an afterword round out this colloquy.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In Search of Anti-Semitism consists of a long editorial essay Buckley wrote examining instances of alleged anti-Semitic writing, primarily from the right; responses from journalists and lay people; and comments on Buckley's comments. He addresses columns by Joe Sobran, formerly of the National Review , and Pat Buchanan; allegations of anti-Semitism in the pages of the Dartmouth Review, a conservative magazine published at Dartmouth College; and a column by Gore Vidal in The Nation . Respondents/commentators include Norman Podhoretz, editor of Commentary, A.M. Rosenthal of the New York Times ; and other journalists from various parts of the political spectrum. Buckley attempts to analyze whether the primarily conservative writers he describes are indeed anti-Semitic. While he has his doubts about Gore Vidal, he concludes that the essays under discussion do not reflect anti-Semitism. The issue is a difficult one to define, however; is someone opposed to Israel's policies anti-Semitic? Libraries with collections dealing with anti-Semitism or Jewish issues or those with an audience for Buckley and his philosophy will want this book; most, however can pass.
- Sue Kamm, Inglewood P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum Intl Pub Group; Reprint edition (November 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826405835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826405838
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,410,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Uys HALL OF FAME on July 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
This work encompasses the near-legendary essay of William F Buckley plus the plethora of responses to it and some additional pieces by Buckley in conclusion. It is a fascinating historical record from 1992 against which the trajectory of Patrick Buchanan's words and deeds may now be measured.

In the long and tactfully worded essay, Buckley investigates the work of two conservatives, Buchanan and Joe Sobran, and one liberal, Gore Vidal, for signs of Antisemitism. He also looks at an incident involving the conservative student newspaper at Dartmouth College.

Absorbing and edifying throughout, the essay encompasses quite a variety of other themes, from the magazine publishing industry to the world of conservative intellectuals. In his elegant prose Buckley is revealed as a perceptive and aware observer of even the most subtle expressions of attitude as well as an articulate interpreter of the intricacies of language and meaning.

The verdict: Buckley, ever so gracious, detects an intense hostility towards Israel in the writing of Sobran but no evidence of Antisemitism. He correctly perceives the presence of the virus in the mind of Buchanan; it has grown ever more virulent since then as reflected in his columns on various online sites and by his own publication The American Conservative.

The Dartmouth Review is absolved of all charges and shown to have been targeted in a vendetta by the college president. Gore is found guilty and sternly rebuked for his spiteful words in the leftist magazine The Nation. This incident is however the least of his transgressions; abundant evidence of malignant narcissism exists in his work, e.g. the hateful way he wrote about his mother, so his contemptible character has been exposed long ago.
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I recall when this was first published as a full issue of National Review in the early '90's. Buckley had been the best & essentially first exponent/proponent of conservatism without hate. Before WFB, the right was characterized by the John Birch Society & other supremacist hate groups.
William F Buckley Jr, a very devout Catholic & a true renaissance man for our times, saw the need to articulate constructively an approach for America, the world, & also individuals, that could order our lives & futures without negativity. Of course, while alive & the nemesis of progressives, liberals, socialists, fellow travelers etc he was demonized by the Left (as was Reagan--whose electoral success can arguably be ascribed to WFB & NR. Now they find it safe to laud him.
This piece addressed Patrick Buchanan's diatribe about Israel's "amen corner" & other such outbursts.
It requires close attention to follow his well-substantiated case; he also reviews Joseph Sobran and comes to similar conclusions.
A must read if you wanna think!
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Format: Paperback
Mr. Buckley is an excellent writer and a spiritual man with a conservative point of view. In this book he takes several of his writer-colleagues to task for alleged anti-Semitic sentiments expressed in anti-Israeli discourse. In doing so, he attempts to delineate a careful distinction between being critical to another country's policies (namely Israel's) and using such legitimate criticism as a means of promoting bigoted ideas. This is an important subject burdened by a lot of emotion, and Buckley makes every effort to be fair.
Yet through his careful editing, the book is drained of the passion the subject deserves. Expect your mind to be challenged but your heart unmoved by this book.
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