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6
3.7 out of 5 stars
Anti-Judaism
Format: HardcoverChange
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2013
Being a rather large book (600+ pages) I bought the Kindle version, so I happened to take it with me on a long plane journey.
So as it was there, I thought I'd make a start, read maybe 30 pages, then move on to something more relaxing.
Well, I read this throughout the plane journey, and carried on reading it in my spare time throughout my trip and on the way home too.
It's totally gripping. I'd plan to read to the end of the chapter, then I'd see the enticing heading / first paragraphs of the next chapter and on I'd go...
I've read a lot about (some eras of) Jewish & Middle East history but this beats the lot. ..the scope, the angle he takes, the relaxed writing style. Some of the historical ages I know little about, but even on the eras that I thought I did know a bit about, he still manages to open my eyes just a little bit wider.
It's a book of history. It's not making any political points that I can see, and all the better for that. You can read, learn and be wiser and hopefully more enlightened for reading it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This book isn't just for those interested in racism, religious conflict or the history of the Jewish people. The most profitable findings of this books can be found in its examination of the contexts in which anti-Jewish and anti-Judaic hatred festered from antiquity to the modern era. Its uses extend far beyond matters relating to Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Islamic relations. One thing you may be surprised to learn quickly from this book is just how bizarre some of the beliefs of the Church Fathers were with regards to their adoption (one may say hijacking) of the Hebrew Bible 'Old Testament' and Ancient Greek philosophy. It might be a bit too far to call them deluded - but then again, claiming that Moses traveled to Athens, influenced Aristotle and that both of them were 'really' Christians the whole time without knowing it is fairly batty. Shameful episodes in the history of the early Church - the burning of synagogues, the massacre of Jews and the seizure of their property - show that it wasn't just the economic conditions of the Middle Ages which established violent antipathy between the rival children of Abraham. Anti-Jewish hatred is shown to be embedded deep within the Christian scriptures and the earliest literary works and correspondence of the pre-Constantine church, with matters only getting worse for the Jews after the Christianisation of the Roman Empire.

I recommend this book to anybody interested even remotely in Jewish history and especially to those more broadly concerned with the cruel and irrational nature of humans divided in groups. It should be mandatory reading for anyone even thinking of going out and proselytizing to Jews about the "Good News" of Jesus - you'll be quick to learn that for the past two millennia, this news has really been 'anything but'.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2015
An excellent book that is very well written, and a compelling and thought provoking history. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in this subject matter.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2013
comprensive approach, map the history of anti-judaism in western thought from its earlier historically verifiable sources .
Important book in todays world on increasing antisemetic intolerance
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2013
To be honest, I'm struggling here. The text is dense, particularly if you are new to the subject. I'll battle on but don't guarantee to get through to the end.
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2014
I bought this having read rave review in the NYRB. But I found it much less original and interesting than I had expected. It generally failed the acid tests- "I hadn't thought of that before", "I never new that" and stylistically I found it rather lumpy. Big disappointment.
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