This is a timely book on a timeless question, a book that will be examined and debated nationwide. Its genesis was a long essay in National Review by William Buckley, which elicited by far the largest response of any work by him during the 36 years he has written for that magazine. The topic is anti-Semitism, among the most combustible of social issues. This is not a history of anti-Semitism, nor a survey of it (though the author reveals historical and sociological knowledge of the field). In Search of ...
This is a timely book on a timeless question, a book that will be examined and debated nationwide. Its genesis was a long essay in National Review by William Buckley, which elicited by far the largest response of any work by him during the 36 years he has written for that magazine. The topic is anti-Semitism, among the most combustible of social issues. This is not a history of anti-Semitism, nor a survey of it (though the author reveals historical and sociological knowledge of the field). In Search of Anti-Semitism is a perceptive study of anti-Semitism as it shows its face in the influential world in which Mr. Buckley and his fraternity live: in opinion magazines, in publishing houses, in the op-ed pages, in syndicated columns, in TV talk shows. He examines these with wit, thoroughness, and an open-mindedness which most of his critics have acclaimed. The book focuses on three contemporary writers and one contemporary battleground. He examines the writings of Joseph Sobran, a syndicated columnist and colleague; of Patrick Buchanan (the essay on Buchanan, so frequently cited, was completed before Buchanan entered the Presidential race); of Gore Vidal, who concluded in the pages of The Nation that Jewish Americans have "twin loyalties." And the book examines the scene at Dartmouth College, whose president assailed student editors of the undergraduate conservative journal The Dartmouth Review as racist, in pursuit of a vendetta between the college and that journal. Mr. Buckley draws a number of conclusions, some tentative some firm, about his subject: What Christians provoke what Jews? Why? By doing what? - And vice versa. Included are responses from many influential commentators: Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol, Robert Novak, A. M. Rosenthal, and others. Alan Dershowitz, the attorney, wrote in; so did literary critics Hugh Kenner and Christopher Ricks; plus more than a dozen others. The reactions are varied and illuminating. Most hailed the essay as the most im
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. (Oct.)
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.