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Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England
     

Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England

by Anthony Julius
 

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Trials of the Diaspora presents the long and troubling history of anti-Semitism in England, from the middle ages to the twenty-first century. Anthony Julius identifies four distinct versions of English anti-Semitism, which he then investigates in detail. The first is the anti-Semitism of medieval England, a radical prejudice of defamation, expropriation, and murder,

Overview

Trials of the Diaspora presents the long and troubling history of anti-Semitism in England, from the middle ages to the twenty-first century. Anthony Julius identifies four distinct versions of English anti-Semitism, which he then investigates in detail. The first is the anti-Semitism of medieval England, a radical prejudice of defamation, expropriation, and murder, which culminated in 1290, the year of Edward I's expulsion of the Jews from England, after which there were no Jews left to torment. The second major strand is literary anti-Semitism: an anti-Semitic account of Jews continuously reappearing in English literature, from the anonymous medieval ballad "Sir Hugh, or the Jew's Daughter" through Shakespeare to Charles Dickens, T. S. Eliot, and beyond. Thirdly, Julius addresses modern anti-Semitism, a quotidian anti-Semitism of insult and partial exclusion, pervasive but contained, experienced by Jews from their 'readmission' to England in the mid-17th century through to the late 20th century. The final chapters then deal with contemporary anti-Semitism, a new configuration of anti-Zionisms, emerging in the late 1960s and the 1970s, which treats Zionism and the State of Israel as illegitimate Jewish enterprises. It is this final perspective which, in Julius's opinion, now constitutes the greatest threat to Anglo-Jewish security and morale. This book, the first history of its kind, has already provoked much comment and debate in its hardback edition, coming as a timely reminder that English culture has been in no way immune to anti-Semitism - and in certain ways is still not to this day. The paperback edition now includes a new preface by the author and a conclusion delineating the main categories of anti-Semitic prejudice.

Editorial Reviews

Harold Bloom
Anthony Julius has written a strong, somber book on an appalling subject…With a training both literary and legal, Julius is well prepared for the immensity of his task. He is a truth-teller, and authentic enough to stand against the English literary and academic establishment…I am grateful to Julius for his calm balance, and I do not ask him to be Philip Roth rather than himself.
—The New York Times
From the Publisher
"This is essential history, and so it is fortunate it has been written by a man with the extraordinary fluency, staggering erudition, scholarly integrity, intellectual acumen, and moral discernment of Anthony Julius." — Philip Roth

"Once he gets to the modern era Julius writes with unrivalled authority and these chapters will be required reading for anyone interested in the subtle and often cruel ways in which anti-Jewish views have been expressed by the English in the last century, as well as the disturbing ways in which anti-Zionism has of late shaded into a new and permissible form of anti-Semitism." —James Shapiro, Financial Times

"Trials of the Diaspora is an extraordinary testament to the brilliance of its author." — Keith Kahn-Harris, Forward

"[A] strong, somber book on an appalling subject: the long squalor of Jew-hatred in a supposedly enlightened, humane, liberal society." — Harold Bloom, New York Times Book Review

"This is a very important book." — Rick Richman, Commentary

"Now comes Julius's magnum opus, Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England, just released in the United States. This large, sweeping book is more than a solidly researched and highly readable history of English anti-Semitism; it is an attempt to chart the evolution of anti-Semitism itself, to explain what it is (and what it is not), and to demonstrate how to recognize and name it." — Jewish Ideas Daily

"Startling and riveting." — Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic

"Of all the qualities that Anthony Julius displays in Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England- intellectual force, extensive erudition, a lucid prose style, most admirable is surely his moral fortitude." — Adam Kirsch, Tablet

"The book can be legitimately described as a heartbreaking work of staggering genius, but without the irony that Dave Eggers has imprinted on that phrase." — Jonathan Kirsch, The Jewish Journal

"It is incumbent on all thoughtful persons to read and take to heart the contents of this most important book." — Aaron Howard, Jewish Herald Voice

"Indeed, his long section on British literary anti-Semitism is a small masterpiece of research, improving on his earlier study of T. S. Eliot's Judeophobia." — Christopher Hitchens, The Atlantic

"[Julius'] new work, Trials of the Diaspora, a history of anti-Semitism in England, will wholly enhance his reputation as a leading scholar of contemporary Jewish history." —Jewish Book World

"Illustrates clearly and competently...that English anti-Semitism has taken a multitude of forms throughout its history, and continues to merit consideration." — British Scholar

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780191636059
Publisher:
OUP Oxford
Publication date:
02/09/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Anthony Julius is the author of several books, including T. S. Eliot: anti-Semitism and Literary Form and is engaged in various political, legal, anti-anti-Semitic activities. Deputy Chairman of the commercial law firm Mishcon de Reya, specializing in litigation law, he is also chairman of the London Consortium, a Visiting Professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, and was a founder and first Chairman of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

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