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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Darwinist philosophy of history, 12 May 2011
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This review is from: A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, with Diaspora Peoples (Paperback)
This is the first of Professor Kevin Macdonald's trilogy interpreting Judaism and Anti-Semitism. The real page turner is the third volume, The Culture of Critique (1998), but this and the second volume, Separation and its Discontents (1994), give his background assumptions in physical anthropology and an only slightly softened social darwinism. As Macdonald says, this latter is not a 'feel good theory'.

Macdonald first explains the theories of recent physical anthropology involving inheritance of specific and general mental characteristics and of groups as instruments of evolution by which genes are shepherded through the generations.

He then interprets The Old Testament, with its genealogies, family histories and laws from a social darwinist standpoint. He next argues against the view of Judaism as a failed universal religion competing with early Christianity for converts, claiming that there are no recorded Jewish missionaries or missionary texts. Christianity draws from Jewish tradition, but its insistence on monogamy and exogamous marriage he attributes to European ethnic characteristics. He claims that Judaism is not internally egalitarian, hence a tendency for those on the lower rungs to defect to out-groups where their identity is more valued. Lastly, he outlines Jewish responses to the 'Enlightenment' which validate Jewish continuance as an ethnic group even independently of religious commitment, e.g. Reform and Orthodox Judaism and Zionism.

He draws mostly on voluminous recent American scholarship, but the result amounts to a novel philosophy of history that challenges the views of American liberals and conservatives like Francis Fukayama and Samuel Huntingdon, but reaches a similar level. Macdonald opposes the multi-ethnic vision of the USA and is nostalgic for the 1950s of his youth.

In terms of production values, I counted six typos in the introduction, the last sentence of which is ungrammatical. All in all, I found it highly readable, well argued and a worthwhile challenge to my own views.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Book And Learn, 16 Jan 2014
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Capt I. McRae "The Ancient Mariner" (Angus, Scotland.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, with Diaspora Peoples (Paperback)
When an acquaintance saw me reading this volume by Kevin MacDonald, he expressed surprise that I should read such an anti-semitic book. I asked if he had read it, which he had not, so I asked how he could judge it as "anti-semitic" if he had not read it. It appears that "They" had told him it is !

It seems this book has developed a reputation which is thoroughly undeserved. Far from being an anti-semitic book, it in fact celebrates how the Jewish people have survived centuries of persecution by maintaining the concepts of the Jewish family and culture. The book also celebrates the superior intellect of the Jewish people in general, and the methods used by Jewish culture to achieve this. Eugenic practices, concentration on pure blood lines, the discouraging of converts to Judaism, strong cultural reinforcement, powerful ingroup identification and a staying apart from the outgroup culture.

The great message of this book is - "Look at how Jews have survived as a race - and learn !" Unless other cultures adopt similar strategies in the future all out cultures will end up in the multiculturalist melting pot and be lost, All the separate races of the world - all equally important and the precious jewellery of the human race - will be lost. The Jewish people and their survival are a beacon to the rest of us showing us how we can avoid this future.

Read this book and learn !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 Sep 2014
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This review is from: A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, with Diaspora Peoples (Paperback)
Excellent, no other comment to produce
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