As some readers may be aware, a hoax e-mail has been circulating widely on the internet that falsely claims Amazon has favorably reviewed this book. This allegation is, of course, absolutely untrue. Nevertheless, this rumor has become so widespread on the Internet that it's already a recognized "urban legend," just like alligators living in the sewers. Amazon.co.uk obviously does not endorse The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion
. This book is one of the most infamous, and tragically influential, examples of racist propaganda ever written. It may be useful to some as a tool in the teaching of the history of anti-Semitism, but it's unquestionably propaganda.
Does Amazon.co.uk sell this book? Of course we do, along with millions of other titles. You can also find books in Amazon.co.uk's online bookstore that analyze The Protocols' fraudulent origins and its tragic historical role in promoting anti-Semitism and Jewish persecution, including A Lie and a Libel: History of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Should Amazon.co.uk sell The Protocols and other controversial works? As a bookseller, Amazon.co.uk strongly believes that people have the right to choose their own reading material. Our goal is to support freedom of expression and to provide customers with the broadest selection possible so they can find, discover, and buy any title they might be seeking. That selection includes some titles which many people, including many employees of Amazon.co.uk, may find distasteful or otherwise objectionable. However, Amazon.co.uk believes it is censorship to make a book unavailable to our customers because we believe its message to be repugnant.
Furthermore, because we strongly believe that the appropriate response to repugnant speech is not censorship, but more speech, we will continue to allow readers, authors, and publishers to express their views about the books and other products we offer on our Web site.
We hope we have eliminated any confusion surrounding this book. If you happened to be one of the many who received the infamous e-mail, we would appreciate it if you would pass this along to your friends. It is very hurtful to everyone at Amazon to be accused of racism.
Thank you for your consideration.
Amazon.com, April 6, 2000 Review
Although it's a pernicious fraud, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion has unfortunately had a widespread influence--all of it evil--on the history of the 20th century. It was exposed as a hoax in 1921, yet it has been used as a justification for the Holocaust and for innumerable pogroms in Russia and the Soviet Union.
The Protocols was supposedly written in 1897 from the minutes of 24 secret meetings between Jews and Freemasons in which they conspired to bring down Western civilization and jointly rule the world. In reality, it is nothing of the sort. In 1921, Philip Graves of the London Times revealed The Protocols to be a fraud, showing it to be based on a French satire aimed at Napoleon III. In a series of side-by-side extracts printed in the Times, Graves demonstrated that the forgers took long portions of the original text, titled Dialogues in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu, and simply replaced "France" with "Zion" and "The Emperor" with "We the Jews." Further investigations by the Russian historian Vladimir Burtsev revealed other sources for The Protocols, including a fantasy novel by Hermann Goedsche and, more darkly, the hand of the Russian secret police.
Sadly, despite its clearly fraudulent nature, The Protocols continues today to feed the fears of the credulous and to fan the flames of fanaticism and hate. --Perry M. Atterberry
From Amazon.co.uk: Please note that Amazon.co.uk does not endorse the views expressed in this book or those in the publisher's book description below.