Jews and Money: The Story of a Stereotype

Overview

In the wake of Bernie Madoff’s ruinous investment schemes, Abe Foxman takes a cultural and political look at the many variations throughout history of the assumptions made about Jews and money. These include Jews as greedy global capitalists; Jews as wealthy secret communists; Jews as cheapskates; and Jews controlling the media with their money to unduly influence society. Foxman makes the case that these stereotypes have permeated cultures globally and argues that these beliefs are rooted in deep-seated and ...

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Jews and Money: The Story of a Stereotype

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Overview

In the wake of Bernie Madoff’s ruinous investment schemes, Abe Foxman takes a cultural and political look at the many variations throughout history of the assumptions made about Jews and money. These include Jews as greedy global capitalists; Jews as wealthy secret communists; Jews as cheapskates; and Jews controlling the media with their money to unduly influence society. Foxman makes the case that these stereotypes have permeated cultures globally and argues that these beliefs are rooted in deep-seated and pervasive anti-Semitism. As with all forms of bigotry, society at large needs to respond to the persistence of stereotypes by educating the young, denouncing hate speech, and by encouraging Jews, like all groups, to express pride in their ethnic and religious heritage.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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

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.)
Kirkus Reviews

A stalwart in the long campaign against anti-Semitism presents rational arguments on the side of reason and understanding.

Indefatigable Anti-Defamation League director Foxman (The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control, 2007, etc.) applies common sense against entrenched hatred, challenging patent bigotry with plain truths about Jews and money. Before diving in to "The Bernie Madoff Moment," the author reminds us of the virtuous owner of Malden Mills, who reacted heroically when his factory, where many townsfolk earned their livelihoods, was destroyed in 1995. That good man, like the criminal Madoff, was Jewish. Methodically, Foxman examines some causes of anti-Semitism, including charges of deicide and the belief in a cabal of usurers in a den of thieves. Certainly, some Jews are wealthy, but some are poor; some are tightfisted, others are remarkably philanthropic; some are capitalists, others communists. The author stresses that irrational bigotry isn't past history, but rather current events—in fact, the old czarist forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is still published and marketed worldwide. Anti-Semitism has survived the days of Father Coughlin and Henry Ford to be found on Twitter and the Internet, and it is global, unfiltered and viral. In his discourse, Foxman skims sordid and dangerous examples of bigotry, including ethnic comedy—though showbiz criticism isn't his strength. The author effectively marshals logic and fact, and he maintains a consistently calm, level tone.

A gentlemanly exhortation to communicate and get involved in the fight against an ancient evil.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230120648
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/13/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Abraham Foxman

Abraham H. Foxman is the national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and one of today’s preeminent voices against hatred, discrimination, and violence in the United States and worldwide. Born in Poland in 1940, he survived the Holocaust when his parents entrusted him to their Catholic nursemaid, who baptized him and raised him as her own son. Foxman has been with the ADL for more than thirty-five years, and for nearly half of them has served as the national director. He is the author of The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control and Never Again?: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism. Foxman has been awarded several honors including the Interfaith Committee of Remembrance Lifetime Achievement Award, the Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Leadership Award from the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and, in 2006, the Knight of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest civilian honor. He lives in New York.

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Table of Contents

1. The Bernie Madoff Moment

2. The Story of a Stereotype

3. The Facts Behind the Myths

4. The Stereotype Today

5. When Everyone Has a Megaphone

6. Not So Funny

7. Damned If We Do, Damned If We Don't

8. Society's Response.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 31, 2011

    I couldn't get passed the CSPAN2 presentation

    I didn't get to the point where I was willing to buy and read the book. I watched a presentation by Mr Foxman on CSPAN2 in which he gave an overview of his book. He stated that his concern, and reason for writing the book, was that many people maintain a stereotype that Jews are overly interested in money and making money. Yet he began his presentation talking about the fact the it was difficult to prepare such a presentation because of his concern that if he told too much about his book, people wouldn't buy it. Imagine that, concern for the bottom line! I have seen many of these programs featuring authors discussing their books and reasons for writing, none have begun as Mr Foxman's. I just had to smile.

    Geraldine Jensen

    Left to his own devices, Mr Foxman was a shining example of what he decries as blatant anti-semitism, the perception that Jews are inordinately interested in money and making money.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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