An excellent, thoughtful and alarming survey of anti-Semitism's long, ugly history and its contemporary resurgence, this volume accompanies a PBS television series. Wistrich, a historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the author of Hitler's Apocalypse, traces anti-Jewish hatred from the pagan world's envy of the Jewish diaspora through Christianity's theological polemics against Judaism to the Enlightenment, when Voltaire and Rousseau ridiculed Jews as inherently perverse. The Christian condemnation of the Jews as murderers of God and agents of Satan was later taken up by Nazis, Bolsheviks and Muslims. Wistrich astutely sifts the stereotypes, fantasies and obsessions that have preoccupied anti-Semites for more than two millennia. He tracks the persistent undercurrents of prejudice that have spawned anti-Semitic violence and neo-Nazi or ultrarightist movements in modern Britain, America, Germany, Austria, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. In the Arab world, he notes, anti-Judaism and anti-Zionism command quasi-automatic support under authoritarian regimes. Scores of remarkable illustrations enliven the narrative. (Aug.)
Originally published in Italy in 1959, this novel examines the daily activities of Tom maso Puzzilli, who steals, curses, and bul lies his way around the shantytown outside Rome where he lives. He hangs around with kids who defecate beside highways to savor the startled looks of motorists, and together they graduate to robbing gasoline stations and worse. Tommaso serves time in jail, manages to find a decent girl, and finds out at his draft physical that he is tubercular. At the sanatorium Tommaso flirts with communism; soon thereafter, Pasolini's optimism and/or naivete endows him with an 11th-hour heroism when he helps save the victims of a flood. Pasolini himself was not so fortunate with real street kids, having been murdered in 1975 by an unredeemed version of his fictional Tom maso. A minor work by a major literary and intellectual figure.--Jack Shreve, Alle gany Community Coll., Cumberland, Md.
Reprint of the Metheun (UK) book originally published in 1991 (and by Random House in 1992). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)