The Jew Accused: Three Anti-Semitic Affairs (Dreyfus, Beilis, Frank) 1894-1915 / Edition 1

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Three Jews—Alfred Dreyfus, Mendel Beilis, and Leo Frank—were charged with heinous crimes in the generation before World War I—Dreyfus of treason in France, Beilis of ritual murder in Russia, and Frank of the murder of a young girl in the United States. The affairs that developed out of their trials pulled hundreds of thousands of people into passionate confrontation. Quite aside from the lurid details and sensational charges, larger issues emerged, among them the power of modern anti-Semitism, the sometimes tragic conflict between the freedom of the press and the protection of individual rights, the unpredictable reactions of individuals when subjected to extreme situations, and the inevitable ambiguities of campaigns for truth and justice when political advantage is to be gained from them. This study explores the nature of modern anti-Semitism and the ways that politicians in the generation before World War I attempted to use hatred of Jews as a political device to mobilize the masses. The anti-Semitism surrounding the affairs is presented as an elusive intermingling of real conflict between Jews and non-Jews, on the one hand, and, on the other, fantasies about Jews derived from powerful myths deeply rooted in Western civilization. In attempting to untangle myth and reality and to offer a fresh look at the main personalities in the affairs many surprises emerge; heroes appear less heroic and villains less villainous, while real factors appear more important than most accounts of the affairs have recognized.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What emerges from The Jew Accused is a valuable examination of the interaction between Jews and gentiles in different nations. Lindemann's observations and learned conclusions on such a critical theme as anti-Semitism merit our careful reactions." The Virginian-Pilot and the Ledger-Star

"...a perceptive reappraisal of complex events." Times Higher Education Supplement

"...this is a well-written and thought-provoking book that will stimulate and challenge...." Choice

"Throughout the book, Mr. Lindemann, making use of contemporary documents, provides a vivid sense of people and of the period." The New Yorker

"He [Lindemann] is especially good at showing the mixed motives of both the accusers and the defenders. He also deftly portrays the historical background and ideological forces. This account is well-written and detailed." Library Journal

"This work is based on wide reading in very different literatures. Professor Lindemann manages to bring a fresh approach to a much studied subject. It is a fascinating book to read." Peter Kenez, University of California, Santa Cruz

"In this first comparative study of the three harrowing affairs, Lindemann draws valuable insights and some provocative conclusions." Carole Fink, Ohio State University

"Albert Lindemann's impressive and well-written study of the Dreyfus, Beilis, and Frank affairs explores the social and political constructions of anti-Semitism within an unusally rich comparative framework. Challenging a range of traditional perspectives, from purported tolerance of the Dreyfusards to the 'exceptionalism' of the Jewish question in America, Lindemann shows neatly the relationship between the development of anti-Semitic attitudes and movements and the expanding Jewish role in Europe and the United States. His book is bound to stir debate, but few will fail to appreciate the intelligence and sensitivity with which he frames the many contentious issues associated with these famous anti-Semitic affairs, or the care with which Lindemann draws his interesting conclusions." William G. Rosenberg, University of Michigan

"Lindemann devotes about a quarter of his book to Dreyfus. His analysis of the development of anti-Semitism in France in the 25 years before Dreyfus was charged with treason is especially good." Washington Jewish Week

"The Jew Accused deserves a wide readership. It is accessible to a general audience and the university classroom alike." Stephen Pattee, PhD, Bridges

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521447614
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,310,961
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

List of plates; Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction; 2. The historical setting in Europe and America; 3. Earlier anti-Semitic affairs; 4. France before the Dreyfus Affair; 5. The Dreyfus Affair, more than a trial; 6. Beyond the Pale; Russia and the Jews, 1890–1914; 7. Blood libel; the Beilis Affair; 8. America, the 'exception'; 9. The Leo Frank Affair; Epilogue and conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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