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Anti-Semite and Jew: An Exploration of the Etiology of Hate [Paperback]

Jean-Paul Sartre , G Becker
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

31 July 1995
With a new preface by Michael Walzer

Jean-Paul Sartre's book is a brilliant portrait of both anti-Semite and Jew, written by a non-Jew and from a non-Jewish point of view. Nothing of the anti-Semite either in his subtle form as a snob, or in his crude form as a gangster, escapes Sartre's sharp eye, and the whole problem of the Jew's relationship to the Gentile is examined in a concrete and living way, rather than in terms of sociological abstractions.

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Anti-Semite and Jew: An Exploration of the Etiology of Hate + Religion Without God + Thomas Aquinas: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 153 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken Books; New edition edition (31 July 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805210474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805210477
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 239,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
If a man attributes all or part of his own misfortunes and those of his country to the presence of Jewish elements in the community, if he proposes to remedy this state of affairs by depriving the Jews of certain of their rights, by keeping them out of certain economic and social activities, by expelling them from the country, by exterminating all of them, we say that he has anti-Semitic opinions. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a masterpiece of insight into anti-semitism 18 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have read this book at least three times and I believe it provides some of the greatest insight into the jewish condition that has ever been committed to print. Sartre's understanding of the position of the jew in modern society is unparalled,as are his observations of the mind of the anti-semite. This book is a must for anyone who wants to understand the true nature of the phenomenon of psychological anti-semitism within the context of modern society.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
36 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a masterpiece of insight into anti-semitism 18 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have read this book at least three times and I believe it provides some of the greatest insight into the jewish condition that has ever been committed to print. Sartre's understanding of the position of the jew in modern society is unparalled,as are his observations of the mind of the anti-semite. This book is a must for anyone who wants to understand the true nature of the phenomenon of psychological anti-semitism within the context of modern society.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As Relevant now as it was more than Half a Century ago 23 Nov 2009
By Joseph Wronka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is an excellent study on some of the origins of hate. Although Sartre may have wished to examine more the role of socialization as the fundamental root of prejudice, he does a good job in exposing the numerous "sins of omission" in religion and the media in causing hate, in this instance, the horrors of the Holocaust. He does so also with extreme rhetorical skill when he asks, for example: "Why were the concentration camps not in the news"?, or when he speaks of "Christian propaganda that the Jews killled Jesus." (It was the Romans.) Certainly, the world has advanced since then, (or so it seems) as evidenced in part by the late Pope John Paul II's apology for the role of Christianity in the Holocaust. And certainly that propaganda had nothing to do with what Christ taught, to do things for the "least of these" and to "love Thy neighbor." We can still see I think some of these forces at work today, especially in regard to extreme poverty throughout the world. It is as if "class" has become a new "blind spot". Why do we rarely hear about the one billion (referred often to as the "bottom billion") who go to bed starving each night, making each day merely a struggle to survive? What is it about our educational system and the media, that seem to block out such atrocities? We need to change all that, so that our minds (and hearts) are more open to the struggles of so many in the world.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sartre is still relevant. 21 Sep 2008
By William H. Bruening - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sartre's work is still a classic. His insights are provocative and pointed. I am especially impressed by his comments on what is now called universal human rights. Sartre is concerned that in stressing our common humanness we forget that there are important difference that should not be ignored.
30 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Insightful but dated 26 Nov 2000
By Tim Lieder - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
90% of this book is great in examining the mindset of the anti-semite and the Jew that wants to assimilate but can't because of the anti-semite. Sartre is brilliant when he talks about the anti-semite's passion for the Jew (which explains why many anti-semites from Farrakhan to Christian Identity movements call themselves "the real Jews"), the assimilated Jew's overcompensation, the historical roots of anti-semitism, and the liberal democrat's damaging and weak defense of Jews on the basis of their common humanity at the expense of their Judaism (As the Napoleaonic position stated = "To the Jew as a man everything, to the Jew as a nation nothing").
Where the book fails is when Sartre tries to gauge the mindset of the Jew that doesn't want to assimilate and the mindset of the Jewish people as a whole. He claims that society makes Jews Jewish and that there is neither a national nor a religious identity holding them together. This was before Israel was a fact of life and when many Jews wanted to assimilate without a trace of guilt over the fact. Most of the Jews that he knows aren't particularly fond of the religious dimension of their lives and he reflects that. He is also erroneous when he characterizes an "authentic" Jew as someone who has thrown off universalism. Judaism believes in universalism but not at the expense of Chosen People status. Of course, what Sartre sees as a problem - Jews trying to assimilate but being pushed into being Jewish, Judaism sees as evidence of being a Chosen People.
Sartre's ignorance about religious Judaism aside, this is still an excellent book in the cause of multiculturalism and pluralism. He argue that ultimately anti-semitism is not a Jewish problem but a problem in his native France and that as long as anti-Semitism exists, no one is secure. He takes 150 pages to make the argument and some of the roads he takes to get there are questionable but it's still an excellent book in that respect.
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A valuable if not complete treatment of its subject 20 Dec 2004
By Shalom Freedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There is an Anti- Semitic review in this page in which the following mistakes and errors are made. The writer of the review says that Sartre is Jewish. He is not and so far as I know none of his ancestors were Jewish. The Anti- Semitic reviewer says that the 'Torah teaches hatred of Gentiles' This is outrageous, and stupid. The Torah teaches that every human being is created in the image of God, and that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. The Torah teaches that every human being is of infinite value.

As for the Sartre book Sartre does understand a great deal about the attitude of assimilated Jews. However he does not know or understand Jews whose Jewish identity is not formed by ' the other' but rather formed positively through belief in their own heritage.

I too think that Anti- Semitism takes different forms at different times, and it is difficult to understand the present kind of radical fundamentalist Islamic anti- Semitism in the same terms as one understands the Anti-Semitism of the extreme left.

But with all this there is the point that Sartre was fundamentally sympathetic to the Jewish people and to the sufferings caused by the evil of anti- Semitism.
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