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Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist: An American Story

Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist: An American Story

by Yossi Klein Halevi, Yossi K. Halevi

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this absorbing memoir, Halevi, a writer for the Jerusalem Report, traces his life and involvement in right-wing Jewish political movements. The son of Holocaust survivors, Halevi grew up in a modern Orthodox family in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn. He first embraced the right-wing Zionist revisionism of BETAR, with its emphasis on Jewish military training and self-defense. The most compelling portion of his book describes his involvement with the Jewish Defense League (JDL) and its controversial leader, the late Meir Kahane. Here the author outlines themes such as the plight of Soviet Jews and the influence of the Six Day War on many Jewish young men and their involvement with Jewish identity politics. The memoir concludes with Halevi's struggle to find a political definition for his life after the collapse of the JDL. Recommended for popular collections.-Mark Weber, Kent State Univ., Lib., Ohio
Aaron Cohen
Stories of personal growth redeeming someone from hatred are not rare--Malcolm X's autobiography is a notable example--but Klein Halevi's is unique. The son of a Holocaust survivor, he grew up in Brooklyn and spent his young adulthood obsessed with the Holocaust. The fear that the Gentile world was completely hostile drove him into the company of such underground groups as the Jewish Defense League. Much of his recollection chronicles inadvertently comic escapades while harassing Soviet diplomats in the 1960s and 1970s. Eventually, he married a lapsed Episcopalian who converted to Judaism, they moved to Israel, and he became an advocate of Jewish-Christian reconciliation. Besides providing a rare glimpse into the insular world of small-time firebrands like Meir Kahane and his disciples, Klein Halevi's narrative is quite moving. The account of his relationship with his father, his development as a journalist, and his recent visit to Holocaust-scarred Eastern Europe is compounded of a fine mixture of humor and pathos. One wonders who will portray Klein Halevi in the inevitable film treatment.

Product Details

Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
Edition description:
lst ed
Product dimensions:
6.43(w) x 9.52(h) x 0.97(d)

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