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Antisemitism: Here and Now Reviews

Antisemitism: Here and Now by Deborah E. Lipstadt

Antisemitism: Here and Now

Deborah E. Lipstadt

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Schocken Books
Publisher: Schocken Books
Publication date: 1 Feb 2019
ISBN: 9780805243376

The award-winning author of The Eichmann Trial and Denial: Holocaust History on Trial gives us a penetrating and provocative analysis of the hate that will not die, focusing on its current, virulent incarnations on both the political right and left, and on what can be done about it.

2 stars out of 5
D.D. Guttenplan
1 Mar 2019

"...the narrative satisfies neither as history nor social criticism"

These are indeed murky waters, but unlike David Hare and Anthony Julius, whose endorsements adorn the book’s cover, I’m not sure Lipstadt is a reliable guide. A competent scholar whose first book, Beyond Belief, traced American resistance to news of the Holocaust, Lipstadt was catapulted to fame by her heroic defence against David Irving, who sued her for libel over his depiction in her second book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. (Julius was the architect of that defence, while Lipstadt’s account of her ordeal was brought to the screen in Denial, written by Hare.) However, no one who has read either book would call Lipstadt a subtle thinker...But then Lipstadt’s intended audience may not exist. It’s easy enough to imagine worried Jews buying a copy of her book for their assimilated grandchildren — or as a gift for well-meaning Gentile friends and neighbours. Much harder, though, to believe any of them will ever finish it — or learn anything from it.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Bret Stephens
30 Jan 2019

"combines erudition, clarity, accessibility and passion at a moment when they could not be needed more."

Written as a series of letters to two composite characters, a “whip smart” Jewish college student and a well-meaning gentile law professor, Lipstadt’s book aims not to break new scholarly ground but to awaken her audience to the nature, persistence and scale of the threat, along with the insidious ways in which it seeks to disguise itself...But Lipstadt isn’t just interested in compiling a list of insults, outrages and assaults. Anti-Semitism, to adapt a phrase, is the hate that dare not speak its name, and Lipstadt is at her best when she removes the guises under which it travels...She has written a book that combines erudition, clarity, accessibility and passion at a moment when they could not be needed more.