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Looking for an Enemy: 8 Essays on Antisemitism

Short Books

3 Reviews

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Jewish studies

A timely and scintillating book that offers a fresh take on the roots of antisemitism and explores how an irrational belief can still flourish in a supposedly rational age.

"Like all the best meetings of Jewish minds, this book will make you think, argue and see the world anew." Hadley Freeman, author of House of Glass

Conspiracy theories about Jews are back in the mainstream. The Pittsburgh gunman who murdered 11 people in a synagogue claimed that 'filthy evil' Jews were bringing 'filthy evil' Muslims into America. The billionaire philanthropist George Soros has been accused of supporting 'white genocide'. Labour Party members have claimed that Israel is behind ISIS.

The belief that Jews are plotting against society never dies, it just adapts to suit the times: from medieval accusations that Jews murder Christians for their blood to claims that Zionists are seeking to control the world.

In eight short essays, edited by Jo Glanville, this book goes back to the source of the conspiracy theories and traces their journey into the 21st century in a bid to make sense of their survival.

With contributions from some of the great Jewish writers and thinkers of our time, including Tom Segev, Jill Jacobs and Mikhail Grynberg, this is a fresh take on the roots of antisemitism that explores how an irrational belief can still flourish in a supposedly rational age.

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Praise for Looking for an Enemy: 8 Essays on Antisemitism

  • Like all the best meetings of Jewish minds, this book will make you think, argue and see the world anew. - Hadley Freeman

  • In this collection of essays, serious writers grapple with a serious and increasingly urgent question: what drives those who hate Jews, and why is that hatred stirring once more? Whether through careful analysis or evocative and moving memoir, whether writing from Europe, Israel or the US, and whether you agree with all, some or none of them, they combine to offer a timely perspective on what, rather bleakly, seems to be a timeless problem. Looking for an Enemy sheds fresh and revealing light on an ancient menace. - Jonathan Freedland

  • This collection of essays is demanding in the best possible way. It is tough because the authors, who do not all agree in their approach, do not compromise on this most explosive of topics. It is painful because there are narratives here that won't leave you after you've put the book down. And perhaps hardest of all, each essay in its own way reminds us that the perpetrators of the historic crime were not a few bad men in whom we can invest our evil, but also the ordinary millions who stood by and gave in to prejudice; and that the potential for that horror still sits waiting in each of us. - Trevor Phillips

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