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Inventing the Jew: Antisemitic Stereotypes in Romanian and Other Central-East European Cultures (Studies in Antisemitism)
Inventing the Jew: Antisemitic Stereotypes in Romanian and Other Central-East European Cultures (Studies in Antisemitism)
by Andrei Oisteanu
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £43.00

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly, 6 Aug. 2012
The author is a Romanian Jew, the nephew of Leonte Rãutu, the chief ideologue of the Romanian Communist Party.

The study is in fact a blown up version of Moses Schwarzfeld's 1892 opus "The Jews in the popular Rumanian literature. A study in popular psychology".


Fascism and Communism (European Horizons Series)
Fascism and Communism (European Horizons Series)
by Francois Furet
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £28.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book on the "Communism=Fascism" debate, 15 Jun. 2012
The exchange of letters that constitutes the substance of the book was the result of Furet's appreciation for Nolte's work on the history of fascism.

Nolte is considered a pariah historian by the mainstream historians because he dared to challenge the leftwing-Jewish consensus on the historiography of Nazism. Nolte might be considered therefore a "revisionist" historian.

The two historians agree that the communist and fascist(Nazi) regimes were equally criminal and brutal.

However, on morally balancing the crimes of communism and fascism/Nazism, Furet considers that the crimes of the Nazi regime weigh slightly heavier than the crimes of the communist regimes because he considers the Holocaust "unique".

In contrast, Nolte considers that the crimes of communism weigh slightly heavier because they were committed in the name of a hypocritical utopian ideology.

There are further interesting issues of disagreement between the two:
1. Nolte considers that fascism was mainly a reaction to the threat posed by the communist insurgents after WWI, while Furet considers that fascism and anti-Semitism had clear antecedents in the European politics and intellectual life before WWI.
2. Nolte considers that the anti-Semitism of the Nazi had a rational impetus in the over involvement of the Eastern European Jewry in the communist movement. Furthermore, he believes that any right-wing totalitarian regime would have been anti-Semitic in the view of the massive participation of Ashkenazi Jews in the communist conspiracy. However, Furet disagrees forcefully with that view, finding no excuse for anti-Semitism. On the contrary, he judges positively the Jewish involvement in the communist movement (he himself being a communist in his youth.)
3. Nolte considers Nazism just the German form of fascism while Furet considers that Germany had a special affinity for an extreme-right anti-Semitic regime.

However, there are points of agreement between the two:
1. Both agree than the WWII was more than a repeat of WWI - with its addition of an ideological conflict between two rivalling forms of totalitarianisms.
2. Furet concedes that Hitler's idiosyncratic personality had a major influence on the unfolding of events.
3. Furet agrees with Nolte that revisions in the historiography of the Holocaust and Nazism should be permitted if they are conforming to the rules of historical scholarship.

Lastly, Furet criticises Nolte's position as one a German nationalist would take.Similarly,I consider that the obvious philo-Semitism of Furet and the fact that he sympathised once with communism had biased his views too. Nevertheless, I find his views on fascism (a radical conservatism with origins going back before the Russian revolution) overall convincing.


Immigrants : Un bien nécessaire
Immigrants : Un bien nécessaire
by Philippe Legrain
Edition: Perfect Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Aberrations, 8 Jun. 2012
The author is a devil's advocate of a policy of mass immigration into the West.
It let me the impression that he collected his arguments after a cocaine fuelled brainstorming session.

He presents the usual "RATIONAL" arguments in favour of immigration: economic benefits, alleviation of labour shortages, increase in entrepreneurship, alleviation of the pension crisis, etc.

However, his account of the rational benefits is biased because he does not consider the costs too: increased criminality, terrorism threats, a burden on the health service, etc.

Then he augments his "rational" arguments with emotional (IRRATIONAL) ones: increased diversity is good, the mixing of races is good, equity, equality, fraternity, the fight against fascism, peace, etc.

On the other hand, the author dismisses the critics of his pro-immigration views as "racists" because he considers their arguments "irrational". So it seems that according to him some emotional arguments are more proper than others - the "racist" ones.

THE AUTHOR JUST GIVES CREDENCE TO THE BELIEF THAT THE TRUE REASON WHY WE HAVE SO MANY FOREIGNERS IN EUROPE IS THAT A DANGEROUS POLITICAL ELITE OPENED THE DOOR TO IMMIGRATION NOT FOR THE SAKE OF OUR NATIONAL BENEFIT BUT FOR THEIR OWN CRETIN IDEOLOGICAL MOTIVES.


Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them
Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them
by Philippe Legrain
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Aberrations, 8 Jun. 2012
The author is a devil's advocate of a policy of mass immigration into the West.
It let me the impression that he collected his arguments after a cocaine fuelled brainstorming session.

He presents the usual "RATIONAL" arguments in favour of immigration: economic benefits, alleviation of labour shortages, increase in entrepreneurship, alleviation of the pension crisis, etc.

However, his account of the rational benefits is biased because he does not consider the costs too: increased criminality, terrorism threats, a burden on the health service, etc.

Then he augments his "rational" arguments with emotional (IRRATIONAL) ones: increased diversity is good, the mixing of races is good, equity, equality, fraternity, the fight against fascism, peace, etc.

On the other hand, the author dismisses the critics of his pro-immigration views as "racists" because he considers their arguments "irrational". So it seems that according to him some emotional arguments are more proper than others - the "racist" ones.

THE AUTHOR JUST GIVES CREDENCE TO THE BELIEF THAT THE TRUE REASON WHY WE HAVE SO MANY FOREIGNERS IN EUROPE IS THAT A DANGEROUS POLITICAL ELITE OPENED THE DOOR TO IMMIGRATION NOT FOR THE SAKE OF OUR NATIONAL BENEFIT BUT FOR THEIR OWN CRETIN IDEOLOGICAL MOTIVES.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 1, 2013 3:27 PM GMT


Racism Explained to My Daughter
Racism Explained to My Daughter
by Tahar Ben Jelloun
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pleading his cause - such a disgusting book, 8 Jun. 2012
The author is a French Moroccan. The book probably is intended to be used by teachers in schools to educate pupils on "racism".

The author just utters a series of contradictory theses that are common in the discourse of left wing politicians and political activists; those politicians that are responsible for the influx of immigrants that is destroying Europe.

However, he is not a French Frenchman with a left wing thinking but a foreigner pleading his cause.

The book takes the form of a dialog between the author and his daughter.
Just to illustrate the nonsense that is found in this book:

1.He says in one place, that one is not born a "racist" but becomes one through bad parental education.
2.Elsewhere, he says that racism is a natural instinct that prevailed in all human societies.
3.Then he says that people cannot change their personality.

All these statements together are self-contradictory.

He seems to imply that children personality can be moulded through education. (What is the evidence for that? After all the sex drive is a natural instinct too. And races were created partially by sexual selection.)Thomas Hardy was spot on with the quote: "After two thousand years of mass / We've got as far as poison-gas."

I have found all the content of the book weak and doubtful. To use it in education is to brainwash our children with a false history and anthropology.


Hitler's Private Library: The Books that Shaped his Life
Hitler's Private Library: The Books that Shaped his Life
by Timothy W. Ryback
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The melancholy of books, 8 Jun. 2012
First of all I must say that it is a very well written book. It is very interesting and captivating.

I. Hitler comes out better than I expected. (I previously knew very little about his life.)
He must have been what is called an "educated layman". He must also have been an "intuitive personality" type (according to Myers-Briggs classification - an ENTJ most probably). That is, a natural-born intellectual or an "idealist" type.

He read books to form a personal worldview. In this respect he resembled many "normal" people.
Hitler's famous quote from Mein Kampf "Those who want to live let them fight and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live." could be very well the statement of a philosopher.

It is interesting that the author brings in the figure of the Jewish intellectual Walter Benjamin. Benjamin had a melancholic personality and wrote some melancholic thoughts on book collecting which the author uses as a sort of philosophy of book collection.
Benjamin shared with Hitler certain psychological traits: he was a bibliomaniac himself, he sympathised with an extremist ideology (communism) and was religious too.

II. The author's account of Hitler humanises him. This is a credit to the author. After all Hitler was a human being... The author takes Hitler at face value and tries to empathise with him (up to a point of course). This results in a disturbing book. HITLER IS VERY SIMILAR TO MANY OF US!

III. The author mocks the pretence of Hitler's admirers that he was an embodiment of Schopenhauer's genius and Nietzsche's ubermensch. However, I could hardly think of any other modern ruler who impersonated best the ideals of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.

Firstly, from Schopenhauer he learned to see through the "veil of Maya" and to look for the essence of things. This can explain his exterminationist anti-Semitism: Jewish history, after all, shows that the Jewish nation possesses a certain aggressiveness and will-of-life that can clash with the interest of the host nations. (The subsequent history with the creation of the state of Israel vindicates the view that Jews can be a dangerous opponent.)

Lastly, Nietzsche's ubermensch is a trickster, a "culture hero" and not a "decent" person. Nietzsche's philosophy is not for decent people.

IV. It is disturbing to realise how many of the elements of Hitler's worldview corresponded to reality:

1.The Caucasian (Aryan) race, though not the most intelligent race, is the best-looking (in an objective sense).

2.Many of the racist theories endorsed by the Nazis (and eugenists) were proven true by subsequent scientific research (not conclusively it is true).

3.The open door policy for immigration into Europe implemented after WWII by socialists politicians in order to annoy the ethnocentric Europeans, poses a threat to European civilisation as Hitler anticipated and feared.

4.The Jews were indeed overactive in the communist movement. And communists were a threat to German and European societies.

V. With the advent of e-books the story of Hitler's library is also an evocation of a bygone era: the era of the civilisation of printed books. It also shows how costly it was then for a person to form an independent worldview.


Le racisme expliqué à ma fille
Le racisme expliqué à ma fille
by Tahar Ben Jelloun
Edition: Perfect Paperback
Price: £9.79

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pleading his cause - such a disgusting book, 8 Jun. 2012
The author is a French Moroccan. The book probably is intended to be used by teachers in schools to educate pupils on "racism".

The author just utters a series of contradictory theses that are common in the discourse of left wing politicians and political activists; those politicians that are responsible for the influx of immigrants that is destroying Europe.

However, he is not a French Frenchman with a left wing thinking but a foreigner pleading his cause.

The book takes the form of a dialog between the author and his daughter.
Just to illustrate the nonsense that is found in this book:

1. He says in one place, that one is not born a "racist" but becomes one through bad parental education.
2. Elsewhere, he says that racism is a natural instinct that prevailed in all human societies.
3. Then he says that people cannot change their personality.

All these statements together are self-contradictory.

He seems to imply that children personality can be moulded through education. (What is the evidence for that? After all the sex drive is a natural instinct too. And races were created partially by sexual selection.)Thomas Hardy was spot on with the quote: "After two thousand years of mass / We've got as far as poison-gas."

I have found all the content of the book weak and doubtful. To use it in education is to brainwash our children with a false history and anthropology.


Balkan Ghosts (Vintage Departures)
Balkan Ghosts (Vintage Departures)
by R. Kaplan
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Accurate in the broad picture, not in the details, 9 Dec. 2011
The author is an American of Jewish origin. The motivation for writing the book was, most probably, to cash in on his previous knowledge and exposure to the region.

The main thesis of the book is that "longue durée" history matters and that the Balkan countries are different in a fundamental way from Western European ones, which is hardly an original thesis.

His travel in the region is a pretext to provide evidence for that thesis and, in addition, to present the ethnic animosities that existed (and still exist) between the Balkan nations.

He also likes to bring an outsider's point of view when he investigates the history of the persecution of the Jews in the region, especially in Greece and Romania, and how that history is remembered, or in fact ignored. (The situation has been redressed now in Romania and the history of anti-Semitism and the genocide of the Romanian Jews is taught in schools.)

His depiction of Romania of the year 1990 is fairly accurate by my recollections. He got the taste of the country right! It is also fascinating to notice how similar is his subjective experience of Romania with those of other Anglo-Saxon travel writers of the past. It seems that countries have a "form" that is very slowly changing (if changing at all).

However, he does not have the talents of a scholar and his account of the history of the countries visited is deeply flawed in the details. The broad picture is correct however, at least in the case of Romania.

Nevertheless, he conveys the impression that interwar Romania was a viciously anti-Semitic country, which is, of course, untrue.

His account is not complete because he neglects to mention the over-involvement of members of Romanian Jewish minority in Romanian Communist Party and the post-WWII communist regime.


Memoirs Of An Anti-Semite (New York Review Books)
Memoirs Of An Anti-Semite (New York Review Books)
by Gregor von Rezzori
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful evocation of interwar Bucharest!, 9 Dec. 2011
The book is a fictionalised autobiography comprised of five chapter-like stories. The narrator (as very likely, the author) had a hedonistic, "carpe diem" personality type with a moderate level of maliciousness (psychoticism)(translation: there is sex).

The first story, located in Bukovina (Romania), recounts an unfortunate childhood play incident. The second and third stories, located in Bucharest and the forth, in Vienna, recount the period of young adulthood. The last story is a meditative look back from the stand point of senescence.

The author has an elegiac style that is very engrossing. The stories succeed in provoking the envy of the reader for the interesting life of the narrator.

The provocative and tongue in cheek title can be explained by the fact that all the stories centre on the narrator's acquaintance or friendship with a Jewish person (for the last four stories, with a Jewish woman in fact) that turned bad.
The Jewish persons that he met and had a significant relationship with were more sophisticated than him (more intelligent, educated, gentle, socially smart, etc.) and even if the relationship soured in the end the narrator comes out of it smarter, more polished, wiser. (However, he had all the time to polish himself; Europe was his own continent after all.)

There is something here. It is a fascination and a fear or dislike of Jews at the same time.
I think Carl Jung's quote is relevant here: "Why this ridiculous touchiness when anybody dares to say anything about the psychological difference between Jews and Christians? Every child knows that differences exist." (Carl Jung, Civilization in Transition)

The book, alongside Olivia Manning's first two volumes of the "Balkan Trilogy", is one of the few available in English that evokes the interwar Bucharest. However, while Manning's account of Bucharest and Romania is negative, the author was enthusiastic of his life in Bucharest. I consider it one of the best and most sympathetic evocations of interwar Bucharest.

The book might be also appealing to people interested in the social milieu of interwar Central Europe and the anti-Semitism prevailing then. There are many period details in it.


World Turned Upside Down
World Turned Upside Down
by Melanie Phillips
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just the usual Jewish jingoism, 9 Dec. 2011
She is an ethnocentric Jew and the book is addressed mainly to a Jewish public.
The author is a British equivalent of an American neo-conservative Jewish writer (or a British Andre Glucksmann or Alain Finkielkraut). It let me the impression, however, that she is more concerned with the welfare of Israel than with the welfare of Britain.

Basically, she is concerned that the open-door policy to immigration advocated by left-wing politicians and political activists will lead to a large Muslim minority in Britain that will dilute the influence of the "Israel lobby", putting the welfare of Israel in danger this way.

Her solution for preventing such a prospect is the revival of the "Judeo-Christian values" in Britain and Europe, a position that a conservative Christian would adopt too.

HOWEVER, JUDAISM AND (CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX)CHRISTIANITY ARE VERY DIFFERENT RELIGIONS:

Firstly, Christianity is a universalistic religion while Judaism is not.

Secondly, as many people who thought about the moral message of the Gospels realised (eg. Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, Kierkegaard, etc.) and as Schopenhauer (and Nietzsche, with other words) put it most eloquently, Christianity (as well as Buddhism) is a religion of the "denial of the will-to-life" while Judaism and Islam are religions of the "affirmation of the will-to-life":

"While all other religions endeavour to explain to the people by symbols the metaphysical significance of life, the religion of the Jews is entirely immanent and furnishes nothing but a MERE WAR-CRY IN THE STRUGGLE WITH OTHER NATIONS."

"In its place[the Law] it[the New Testament] preaches the kingdom of grace, which one can enter through faith, charity and TOTAL DENIAL OF SELF: this, it says, is the road to redemption from evil and from the world: for - every Protestant and Rationalist misinterpretation notwithstanding - the true soul of the New Testament is undoubtedly THE SPIRIT OF ASCETICISM. This spirit of asceticism is precisely denial of the will to live, and the transition from the Old Testament to the New ... signifies, in the strict sense, the transition from merely moral virtue to DENIAL OF THE WILL TO LIVE."

In Christianity there is no scriptural commandment for holy war as it is in Islam and Judaism (Milkhemet Mitzvah). On the contrary, the commandment is to "love your enemy". That means that any form of aggressive Christianity (as was the case with the Iron Guard of Romania, for example or the Action Française) is open to criticism as self-contradictory.

On the other hand, many Christian intellectuals are sympathetic towards immigrants especially when poor or Christian. Furthermore, there are similarities between the universalism and humanism espoused by the ideology of the Left that prevails among the European intellectuals and that of Christianity (not to mention the clear similarities between the left-wing thinking and various forms of Judaic and Christian eschatological thinking.)

THE IDEOLOGY THAT IS NEEDED IN ORDER THAT EUROPE DEFENDS ITSELF AGAINST THE VOLKERWANDERUNG OF IMMIGRANTS IS A REVIVAL OF (SECULAR) ETHNIC NATIONALISM. ETHNIC NATIONALISM CRITICIZED IN THE PAST BY MANY JEWISH INTELLECTUALS...
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 21, 2014 11:52 PM GMT


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