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The Changing Face of Antisemitism: From Ancient Times to the Present Day Hardcover – 12 Jun 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Edition edition (12 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195304292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195304299
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 3 x 14 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,220,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"An interesting general analysis of the variations of anti-Semitism over the past 2000 years.... Laqueur's major strength is his critique of contemporary issues, especially the role of Israel in anti-Semitic thought, and the question of the relationship between anti-Zionism and
anti-Semitism."--Library Journal
"Walter Laqueur provides us with powerful new insights into an age-old problem. Distinguished scholarship and an authoritative moral voice are the hallmarks of this important book. Anyone wanting to understand the history and persistence of anti-Jewish hatred should read it." --Abraham H. Foxman,
National Director, Anti-Defamation League and author of Never Again?: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism
"Once more, Walter Laqueur has brought his formidable learning, incisive style, and sheer brilliance in writing concise and yet gripping history to a subject matter of extraordinary complexity. The result is vintage Laqueur and an extremely valuable contribution to the subject of the history of
antisemitism." --Michael Stanislawski, Nathan J. Miller Professor of Jewish History, Columbia University
"Walter Laqueur has written a thoughtful book about a difficult subject, bringing history and his own keen analytical skill together in a new way. Engagingly written, it offers both an overview of the past and an analysis of the 'new antisemitism.' He treats antisemitism sympathetically, even as
he largely avoids the apologetics that characterize so much writing on the subject." --Mark R. Cohen, author of Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages
"A remarkable and eminently readable review of antisemitism throughout history from the persecution of theearly Israelites in Egypt to the recent attacks on Jewish targets in twenty-first century Europe. Laqueur describes with skill and precision antisemitism's context in every era--be it economic,
religious, social, or political." --Rabbi Andrew Baker, Director of International Jewish Affairs, The American Jewish Committee
"A brilliant, lucid and compelling survey of a social, psychological, cultural, political and intellectual malady that has preoccupied and distorted European and Arab societies, Christian and Muslim civilizations, and both the political right and the political left. In this short volume, Laqueur
provides an elegant, fast-paced and immensely readable account of a complex, confounding and still-mutating condition that continues to afflict our world. This book is a vital contribution to our understanding of an important and disturbing dimension of our past--and, as Laqueur so incisively shows,
of our present and our future. There is no other book like it." --Walter Reich, Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Professor of International Affairs, George Washington University
"Well-researched and written by a very perceptive scholar. Especially worth reading and contemplating are the chapters on the modern era."--Washington Jewish Week



"An interesting general analysis of the variations of anti-Semitism over the past 2000 years.... Laqueur's major strength is his critique of contemporary issues, especially the role of Israel in anti-Semitic thought, and the question of the relationship between anti-Zionism and
anti-Semitism."--Library Journal
"Walter Laqueur provides us with powerful new insights into an age-old problem. Distinguished scholarship and an authoritative moral voice are the hallmarks of this important book. Anyone wanting to understand the history and persistence of anti-Jewish hatred should read it." --Abraham H. Foxman,
National Director, Anti-Defamation League and author of Never Again?: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism
"Once more, Walter Laqueur has brought his formidable learning, incisive style, and sheer brilliance in writing concise and yet gripping history to a subject matter of extraordinary complexity. The result is vintage Laqueur and an extremely valuable contribution to the subject of the history of
antisemitism." --Michael Stanislawski, Nathan J. Miller Professor of Jewish History, Columbia University
"Walter Laqueur has written a thoughtful book about a difficult subject, bringing history and his own keen analytical skill together in a new way. Engagingly written, it offers both an overview of the past and an analysis of the 'new antisemitism.' He treats antisemitism sympathetically, even as
he largely avoids the apologetics that characterize so much writing on the subject." --Mark R. Cohen, author of Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages
"A remarkable and eminently readable review ofantisemitism throughout history from the persecution of the early Israelites in Egypt to the recent attacks on Jewish targets in twenty-first century Europe. Laqueur describes with skill and precision antisemitism's context in every era--be it economic,
religious, social, or political." --Rabbi Andrew Baker, Director of International Jewish Affairs, The American Jewish Committee
"A brilliant, lucid and compelling survey of a social, psychological, cultural, political and intellectual malady that has preoccupied and distorted European and Arab societies, Christian and Muslim civilizations, and both the political right and the political left. In this short volume, Laqueur
provides an elegant, fast-paced and immensely readable account of a complex, confounding and still-mutating condition that continues to afflict our world. This book is a vital contribution to our understanding of an important and disturbing dimension of our past--and, as Laqueur so incisively shows,
of our present and our future. There is no other book like it." --Walter Reich, Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Professor of International Affairs, George Washington University
"Well-researched and written by a very perceptive scholar. Especially worth reading and contemplating are the chapters on the modern era."--Washington Jewish Week


"An interesting general analysis of the variations of anti-Semitism over the past 2000 years.... Laqueur's major strength is his critique of contemporary issues, especially the role of Israel in anti-Semitic thought, and the question of the relationship between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism."--Library Journal
"Walter Laqueur provides us with powerful new insights into an age-old problem. Distinguished scholarship and an authoritative moral voice are the hallmarks of this important book. Anyone wanting to understand the history and persistence of anti-Jewish hatred should read it." --Abraham H. Foxman, National Director, Anti-Defamation League and author of Never Again?: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism
"Once more, Walter Laqueur has brought his formidable learning, incisive style, and sheer brilliance in writing concise and yet gripping history to a subject matter of extraordinary complexity. The result is vintage Laqueur and an extremely valuable contribution to the subject of the history of antisemitism." --Michael Stanislawski, Nathan J. Miller Professor of Jewish History, Columbia University
"Walter Laqueur has written a thoughtful book about a difficult subject, bringing history and his own keen analytical skill together in a new way. Engagingly written, it offers both an overview of the past and an analysis of the 'new antisemitism.' He treats antisemitism sympathetically, even as he largely avoids the apologetics that characterize so much writing on the subject." --Mark R. Cohen, author of Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages
"A remarkable and eminently readable review of antisemitism throughout history from the persecution of the earlyIsraelites in Egypt to the recent attacks on Jewish targets in twenty-first century Europe. Laqueur describes with skill and precision antisemitism's context in every era--be it economic, religious, social, or political." --Rabbi Andrew Baker, Director of International Jewish Affairs, The American Jewish Committee
"A brilliant, lucid and compelling survey of a social, psychological, cultural, political and intellectual malady that has preoccupied and distorted European and Arab societies, Christian and Muslim civilizations, and both the political right and the political left. In this short volume, Laqueur provides an elegant, fast-paced and immensely readable account of a complex, confounding and still-mutating condition that continues to afflict our world. This book is a vital contribution to our understanding of an important and disturbing dimension of our past--and, as Laqueur so incisively shows, of our present and our future. There is no other book like it." --Walter Reich, Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Professor of International Affairs, George Washington University
"Well-researched and written by a very perceptive scholar. Especially worth reading and contemplating are the chapters on the modern era."--Washington Jewish Week



"An interesting general analysis of the variations of anti-Semitism over the past 2000 years.... Laqueur's major strength is his critique of contemporary issues, especially the role of Israel in anti-Semitic thought, and the question of the relationship between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism."--Library Journal


"Walter Laqueur provides us with powerful new insights into an age-old problem. Distinguished scholarship and an authoritative moral voice are the hallmarks of this important book. Anyone wanting to understand the history and persistence of anti-Jewish hatred should read it." --Abraham H. Foxman, National Director, Anti-Defamation League and author of Never Again?: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism


"Once more, Walter Laqueur has brought his formidable learning, incisive style, and sheer brilliance in writing concise and yet gripping history to a subject matter of extraordinary complexity. The result is vintage Laqueur and an extremely valuable contribution to the subject of the history of antisemitism." --Michael Stanislawski, Nathan J. Miller Professor of Jewish History, Columbia University


"Walter Laqueur has written a thoughtful book about a difficult subject, bringing history and his own keen analytical skill together in a new way. Engagingly written, it offers both an overview of the past and an analysis of the 'new antisemitism.' He treats antisemitism sympathetically, even as he largely avoids the apologetics that characterize so much writing on the subject." --Mark R. Cohen, author of Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages


"A remarkable and eminently readable review of antisemitism throughout history from the persecution of the early Israelites in Egypt to the recent attacks on Jewish targets in twenty-first century Europe. Laqueur describes with skill and precision antisemitism's context in every era--be it economic, religious, social, or political." --Rabbi Andrew Baker, Director of International Jewish Affairs, The American Jewish Committee


"A brilliant, lucid and compelling survey of a social, psychological, cultural, political and intellectual malady that has preoccupied and distorted European and Arab societies, Christian and Muslim civilizations, and both the political right and the political left. In this short volume, Laqueur provides an elegant, fast-paced and immensely readable account of a complex, confounding and still-mutating condition that continues to afflict our world. This book is a vital contribution to our understanding of an important and disturbing dimension of our past--and, as Laqueur so incisively shows, of our present and our future. There is no other book like it." --Walter Reich, Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Professor of International Affairs, George Washington University


"Well-researched and written by a very perceptive scholar. Especially worth reading and contemplating are the chapters on the modern era."--Washington Jewish Week


About the Author

Walter Laqueur was Co-Chairman of the International Research Council at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in Washington DC. He is the author of many books and has published numerous articles in such newspapers and periodicals as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Encounter, and the New Republic. Laqueur's books and articles have been reprinted in many countries. His most recent works include Fascism: Past, Present, and Future and The New Terrorism: Fanaticism and the Arms of Mass Destruction.

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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This concise survey of antisemitism from antiquity to the present explores some unusual angles of the virus' shape-shifting habit as well as its common features in space and time. Spellbinding and thought-provoking, the elegantly worded text in the form of a lengthy essay contributes significantly to the quest of defining the constantly mutating plague. Laqueur is clearly an expert on the judeopathic mindset, occasionally displaying an almost exasperating level of tolerance when examining such an evil and despicable pathology. As a secular academic he is uncertain of the future, speculating at length on possible scenarios in the concluding chapters.

He attributes the earliest manifestations of the affliction in Egypt and classical antiquity to animosity resulting from Jewish cultural practices. But those who respect the "Old Testament" as history will remember that it was fear - judeophobia - of their numbers that led to the oppression & infanticide before the Exodus. In Christianity the virus mutated into an intense theological hatred articulated by numerous "church fathers" like Melito of Sardis, Chrysostom and Augustine and later by reformers like Martin Luther. The accusation of deicide was accompanied by the usurpation of the Tenakh and the lie that the church had replaced the Jews as the chosen of God: the doctrine of replacement theology. The problem grew worse in exact proportion to the influence of Christianity that culminated in the disastrous triumph of the Constantine creed.

The next mutation, racial prejudice, arrived with modernity in the 1800s. Now the danger was perceived to inhabit the genes so it followed that physical annihilation was seen as the solution, leading to the Holocaust. First the culture, then the religion, then the race had to be eradicated.
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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 July 2008
Format: Hardcover
This concise survey of antisemitism from the ancient world to the present illumines some unusual angles of the virus' shape-shifting habit as well as its common features in space and time. Spellbinding and thought-provoking, the elegantly worded text in the form of a lengthy essay contributes significantly to the quest of defining the constantly mutating plague. Laqueur is clearly an expert on the judeopathic mindset, occasionally displaying an almost exasperating level of tolerance when examining such evil and despicable thoughts. As a secular academic he is uncertain of the future, speculating at length on possible scenarios in the concluding chapters.

He attributes the earliest manifestations of the affliction in Egypt and classical antiquity to animosity resulting from Jewish cultural practices. But those who respect the "Old Testament" as history will remember that it was fear - judeophobia - of their numbers that led to the oppression & infanticide before the Exodus. In Christianity the virus mutated into an intense theological hatred articulated by numerous "church fathers" like Melito of Sardis, Chrysostom and Augustine and later by reformers like Martin Luther. The accusation of deicide was accompanied by the usurpation of the Tenakh and the idea that the church had replaced the Jews as the chosen of God: the doctrine of replacement theology. The problem grew worse in exact proportion to the influence of Christianity that culminated in the disastrous triumph of the Constantine version.

The next mutation, racial prejudice, arrived with modernity in the 1800s. Now the danger was perceived to inhabit the genes so it followed that physical annihilation was seen as the solution, leading to the Holocaust.
Read more ›
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Walter Laqueur makes some extremely pertinent points in this book that need to be noted.

70 years ago the slogan in Europe had been "Jews go to Palestine". today it is "Jews Out of Palestine".
The author draws attention to the massive wars and genocides in which millions have perished in the last 25 years, as the result of civil wars, repression, social persecution and tribal conflicts, from Cambodia to much of Africa (Liberia, Congo, Rwanda, Darfur and Zimbabwe).
National and religious minority groups have been systematically abused, raped, murdered, burned, shot, gassed and their property demolished from North Korea and Tibet to Indonesia, Bangladesh, Central Asia and beyond.
But as Laqueur points out: "There have been no protest demonstrations concerning the fate of the Dalets ("Untouchables) in India, even though there are more than 100 million of them. The fate of the Uighur in China, the Copts in Egypt or the Bahai in Iran (to name but a few persecuted people) has not generated much indignation in the streets of Europe and America...According to peace researchers, 25 million were killed in internal conflicts since World War II, 8 000 of them in the Palestinian Israeli conflict, which ranks 46th in the list of victims. But Israel has been condemned at the United Nations and other international organizations more than all other nations put together."
Is this because Israel is small and isolated. There is definitely some type of extreme prejudice at work here.

One of the most intriguing ideas represented in this book is an exercise in counterfactual history: "What if the Ottoman Empire had collapsed one hundred years earlier than it did, and what if the majority of European Jews had decided to settle there.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 18 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 8 Nov. 2016
By Tiger Lily - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Requirement for my Holocaust course. Difficult to read due to the content.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of a quesation rthat still has no definitive answer 17 Jan. 2013
By Sheldon Goldberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Walter Laquer is an excellent writer who provides an objective view of a very difficult subject. He admits that there is no definitive answer to the question of "Why Anti-Semitism," but he provides an excellent overview of different manifestations of it. Reecommended for anyone interested in Jewish history or the phenomenon itself.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks passion, prose drags 24 Oct. 2009
By John Harpur - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not a well written book. It lacks footnotes and the in-text references to bibliographic material could be spruced up. The bibliography itself reads like a file dump from the author's computer. There is a certain casualness or perhaps more accurately a journalistic informality about the prose that didn't read well for me. And all of that is a pity becasue the central theme of Laquers' work is the constancy of anti-Semitism propagated under different deceitful guises in different times. Anyone who learns something new from this book is not familiar with Jewish history, the history of the diaspora. The book is, from this perspective, a useful introduction to the emergence and solidification of anti-Semitic trends. However, given Laquers' professional provenace I expected much greater depth, much more profound analysis and I did not encounter it. Instead, one ends up with a version of a Dummies Guide. I would have liked more passion to flow, more provocative argument to be evidenced, the Sword of Moses to be waved about. One can be academic and passionate (e.g. Saul Friedlander) and for me, and I stess for me, this work did not hit the spot.
46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on Anti-Semitism 8 Oct. 2006
By Werner Cohn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I see it, Laqueur's book has advantages over the many other works on the same subject:

1) The author has a sure footing in two millennia of European history. Here and there I found myself in disagreement on matters of fact and interpretation. I looked these things up and found that in all of these cases Laqueur was right and I was wrong. This is not to say that there won't be specialists who can find errors here and there. There is no book that is immune to error. But I do not think that such errors will be numerous or grave.

2) The author is even-handed and sober. He flogs no ideology or partisan program. He is patient with the views of others, even when these are offensive.

3) He has taken the trouble of studying, in depth, what anti-Semites have to say. There are no second-hand condemnations based on handed-down opinions.

4) He knows the byways of history: shadowy characters like Abram Leon, the National Bolshevists, Michael Neumann, Horst Mahler, to name just a few, wander through these pages. Generally it is only the sectologists -- the historians of Trotskyism, the chroniclers of neo-Nazism, etc. -- who bother to tell us much about such figures. But where sectologists are interested only in these shadows, Laqueur shows us the shadows by way of illuminating the broader picture. He lets us travel both byways and highways.

When the messiah finally arrives, books will be perfect. This has not yet happened, and I must report that, indeed, there are things that I wish were better in this book.

Laqueur has no footnotes and only rarely makes direct reference to other scholars. Most of the time this is not a big problem since the facts that he adduces are generally well known, and, with Wikipedia and other internet resources widely available, a reader can often provide his own references, as indeed I have done. Sometimes, however, a topic cries out for emendation by footnote. On page 49, for example, the author mentions the "Deutsche Christen," a Nazi formation of Protestants who repudiated the Old Testament as Jewish. ("Deutsche Christen" is not found in the book's index.) Well, the reader should have been referred here to more information on this group. As it happens, the group Deutsche Christen was repudiated by the Nazi leadership and lost all influence after 1933, and the reader of the present book will be misled if all he reads is what he reads here.

I am also not happy with the long list of (unannotated) recommended readings. It is too long to be of much help. I would have liked to see a much shorter, annotated list of things that the interested reader should look into.

Laqueur tells us that there are about 40,000 books about modern anti-Semitism. My own overall opinion of his work is best expressed by the fact that I have ordered a copy for each of my nine grandchildren. I have included my youngest, now three, because of my confidence that by the time he reaches reading age for this sort of thing -- roughly ten years from now -- this book will still most likely stand as the best scholarly treatment of anti-Semitism.
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative to be sure...with lots of proof 6 Oct. 2012
By sberde - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a Jew, and 76 years old, I learned a lot of new facts about this age old prejudice. Well written and well organized. Stan Berde PS I purchased this via Amazon and read same on my Kindle Keyboard, which I love more than life itself
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