A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism

A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism

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by Phyllis Goldstein
     
 

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A Convenient Hatred chronicles a very particular hatred through powerful stories that allow readers to see themselves in the tarnished mirror of history. It raises important questions about the consequences of our assumptions and beliefs and the ways we, as individuals and as members of a society, make distinctions between us and them, right and wrong, good and

Overview

A Convenient Hatred chronicles a very particular hatred through powerful stories that allow readers to see themselves in the tarnished mirror of history. It raises important questions about the consequences of our assumptions and beliefs and the ways we, as individuals and as members of a society, make distinctions between us and them, right and wrong, good and evil. These questions are both universal and particular.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After a thoughtful foreword by Sir Harold Evans, staff writer and researcher Goldstein (Holocaust and Human Behavior) follows a chronological trajectory, opening each chapter with a detailed snapshot of the time period under discussion, and often including a map to help locate readers unfamiliar with the terrain and shifting national boundaries. She begins with the first recorded incidence of antisemitism in 586 BCE, when the Babylonians destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, and tracks its development across the ages, ending with a chapter on "Antisemitism Today," in which she warns that it is "still a force in the world." Thoroughly researched and meticulous in its treatment of a bleak topic, Goldstein's study does not rest on a recitation of the atrocities of WWII; rather, hers is a work that seeks to dismantle a complex prejudice in order to more swiftly do away with it. As president of Human Rights First Elisa Massimino points out, "The branding of Jews as scapegoats for ancient and modern ills remains a powerful underlying factor" in its continuation. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Facing History and Ourselves is a well-known organization that, according to its own literature, "fosters democracy and combats anti-Semitism, racism, and other hatreds through education." The organization has had great success working with students to confront the issues in their own lives by looking at them through the broader perspective of history. This particular volume is an excellent history of a long hatred. Readers need not be Jewish to appreciate the particular virulence shown toward an oppressed minority through history. Goldstein (senior writer, Facing History and Ourselves) tells the stories of some of the courageous individuals who have made a stand, e.g., Emile Zola, and discusses how various historical figures have officially considered Jews. For example, Napoléon instituted reforms that benefited Jews. The book could be read in conjunction with the documentary The Longest Hatred: A Revealing History of Anti-Semitism. The illustrations, woodcuts, photos, and maps ably assist the text. VERDICT Not aiming to be comprehensive, Goldstein uses representative examples in a lively, conversational way that will speak particularly to advanced high school students and stimulate discussion among them. That said, there is not much new material for informed adult readers.—Paul Kaplan, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780981954387
Publisher:
Facing History and Ourselves
Publication date:
12/06/2011
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
1,139,053
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

Lawrence L. Langer
Many of the famous villains of literature were compelling orators, as was Hitler, using the power of speech to feed their frustrations and hatred into their audiences. So long as we have language, we will have its abusers on behalf of their pernicious programs, and the need to challenge them will remain. A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism will make both a valuable and timely contribution to our understanding of this subject. (Lawrence L. Langer, author of Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism)
Carl Bernstein
With no agenda except enlightenment, A Convenient Hatred allows us to finally comprehend the awful history of antisemitism. It deserves the widest possible reading—by young, old, Jew and non-Jew. (Carl Bernstein, journalist and author)
Michael Berenbaum
"Facing History has done a characteristically masterful job in exploring antisemitism from ancient times to its current manifestation in a clear and lucid way accessible to students and their parents and to all concerned about the all too enduring quality of what has been termed "the longest hatred." (Michael Berenbaum, American Jewish University in Los Angeles)
Kwame Anthony Appiah
This book delineates with clarity and intelligence the long history of discrimination, insult, and assault against Jews. It makes depressing reading unless you remember what Facing History and Ourselves always remembers: that understanding the past helps us see how we can contribute to making the world better. (Kwame Anthony Appiah, Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University)
Omer Bartov
This book is a tour de force of one of the most intriguing and disturbing phenomena in history. Tracing the origins and evolution of antisemitism from antiquity to the present day, this book provides a well-informed, highly accessible, and admirably balanced account that should become a basic tool for educators and an essential textbook for students in all fields concerned with the humanities and social sciences. (Omer Bartov, John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History, Brown University)

Meet the Author

Harold Evans is editor-at-large of Thomson Reuters, the world's largest international multimedia news provider. He is also the author of two critically acclaimed best-selling histories of America: The American Century and They Made America. His most recent book is his memoir, My Paper Chase, which covers his early life and his years as editor of The Sunday Times and The Times of London. On the 50th anniversary of the founding of the International Press Institute, Evans was honored as one of 50 World Press Heroes.

Phyllis Goldstein is the senior writer and researcher on key Facing History and Ourselves publications including the latest edition of Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and Human Behavior, as well as The Jews of Poland and Race and Membership in American History. She graduated from the University of Chicago and holds a master's degree in teaching from Harvard University. She has worked as a teacher, author, editor, and editorial director.

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A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Chowbell More than 1 year ago
I love this book, and I am so happy that Ms Goldstein wrote it and that I am reading it! For the person who knows little or nothing about history to the person who knows quite a bit, she fills in the blanks and explains very clearly what happened and why in an interesting, compelling, objective way. This is a book that should be read widely and often!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Turned into a bat