By Anthony Julius — (Book Review abridged by henrymakow.com) Sept 14, 2013
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, wants us to believe that anti-Semitism is the devil as the devil is envisioned by revealed religion. That it has no parallel in the history of prejudice. That it has been at the core of Christian civilization for two millennia. That, inscribed in the Quran, it is the constituent feature of Arab and Islamic civilizations. Anti-Semitism, moreover, has had its reach vastly expanded by the new, anti-Israel, form it has taken–as well as by the fact that Jew-hating populaces have been migrating around the world, specifically from Arab and Islamic countries to Europe and elsewhere….
If the book delivered on its claims, it would be most welcome. But this is a bad book. It lacks balance and originality. It misrepresents or misreads several readily available texts. It is radically under-researched–the brief endnotes comprising mostly Web references to news items. (For example, though he criticizes Stéphane Hessel’s 2010 book, “Time for Outrage!,” the relevant endnote cites not the book itself but a New York Times story about it.) It is characterized throughout by overstatement and contains some truly ludicrous judgments. (John Chrysostom wasn’t “the most significant theologian of the Catholic Church after Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire.”) Its tone is querulous, hectoring and self-important. (Apparently, we needed Mr. Goldhagen to point out the significance of English as a world language, a feature of the global era hitherto, he says, “virtually uncommented-upon.”)….
I have written this review with reluctance. That there should be strife within the party to which Mr. Goldhagen and I both belong, the party of anti-anti-Semites, will only give satisfaction to the haters. But we must be the smart, truth-telling participants in this terrible struggle; we must be intelligent in our judgments, reliable in the claims we make. And for sure, while we must not minimize dangers, we shouldn’t overstate them either. “The Devil That Never Dies” doesn’t contribute to our existing understanding of anti-Semitism; it doesn’t give anti-anti-Semites fresh, good arguments. Indeed, it is so easily and justly dismissible, it weakens the very cause its author seeks to promote.
Interview with the author- Daniel-Goldhagen
Here Hoffman focuses on Harold Bloom’s review of Julius’: Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England (Paperback)
CENSORSHIP ALERT: This review was first published May 18, 2010 and then removed by Amazon. It was re-published after negotiation with Amazon concerning censorship, on Jan. 30, 2011. The review was again removed the summer of 2012. I am resubmitting it on Aug. 3, 2012. When a review is removed all of the votes it received (pro or contra) are lost, as well as any debate in the comments section. Why has the review been repeatedly removed and then restored? Ask Amazon.
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