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The Butcher's Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2002

    Excellent, Illuminating Work

    The Butcher's Tale accomplishes a rare feat in popular European nonfiction: it covers a substantial historic issue (anti-Semitism in prewar Germany) within a fascinating microcosmic study of a single small town. It also holds the reader's suspense by slowly unfolding the story of a heinous crime and the authorities' attempt to solve it. Most surprising to me was the odd but persistent prejudice of Jewish 'blood libel' and its survival into the 20th century. One criticism: like many medium-to-long books about fairly short subjects, it starts to lose a little steam near the end (the author attempts, perhaps one too many times, to fit the historical facts within a particular theoretical package). One suspects the book could have ended comfortably at about 3/4 the distance.

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