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Those Who Forget the Past

Those Who Forget the Past

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Afterword by Cynthia OzickAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Cynthia Ozick
Edited by Ron RosenbaumAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Ron Rosenbaum

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 720 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
  • On Sale: May 11, 2004
  • Price: $16.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-8129-7203-0 (0-8129-7203-1)
Also available as an eBook.
about this book

"Rosenbaum's outstanding compilation of nearly 50 sharp essays has the advantage of not only displaying a wide range of views but juxtaposing pieces in debate with one another....This is an estimable collection and may find a place with course adopters as well as common readers." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

After the horrors of World War II, people everywhere believed that it could never happen again, but today the evidence is unmistakable that anti-Semitism is dramatically on the rise once more. The torching of European synagogues, suicide terror in Israel, the relentless comparison of the Israelis to Nazis, the paranoid post–September 11 Internet-bred conspiracy theories, the Holocaust-denial literature spreading throughout the Arab world, the calumny and violence erupting on American college campuses: Suddenly, a new anti-Semitism has become widespread, even acceptable to some.

In this important new book, Ron Rosenbaum, author of the highly praised Explaining Hitler, brings together a collection of powerful essays about the origin and nature of the new anti-Semitism. Paul Berman, Marie Brenner, David Brooks, Harold Evans, Todd Gitlin, Jeffrey Goldberg, Bernard Lewis, David Mamet, Amos Oz, Cynthia Ozick, Frank Rich, Jonathan Rosen, Edward Said, Judith Shulevitz, Lawrence Summers, Jeffrey Toobin, and Robert Wistrich are among the distinguished writers and intellectuals who grapple with painful questions: Why now? What is—or isn’t—new? Is a second Holocaust possible, this time in the Middle East? How does anti-Semitism differ from anti-Zionism?

Those Who Forget the Past is an essential volume for understanding the new bigotry of the twenty-first century.

"Rosenbaum ... has compiled a cross section of outstanding, thought-provoking, and deeply disturbing articles and essays on the revival (or resurfacing) of 'the longest hatred.' Jeffrey Goldberg looks behind the moderate facade to uncover the depth of Jew hatred in Mubarak's Egypt. Bernard Lewis analyzes the links between European and Arabic Anti-Semitism. Cynthia Ozick provides devastating examples of how the 'big lie' technique is used to demonize Israel.... This is an important and vital contribution to efforts to comprehend what is new and what is the same in this ancient virus of ignorance and hatred."

"This important anthology comprises nearly 50 short contemporary essays by sociologists, literary figures, critics, educators, philosophers, and others. Attempting to look at the recent phenomenon known as the new anti-Semitism, this volume not only provides historical background from which to investigate the global comeback of 'the oldest hatred' but looks at artifacts of its resurgence, such as the desecration of European synagogues, the rising hostility toward Israel, the equation of Zionism with Nazism, the rise of hate speech and anti-Jewish activity on American campuses, and the contemporary cultural controversy surrounding the release of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. The impressive list of contributors gathered by Rosenbaum (Explaining Hitler) includes Berel Lang, David Mamet, Amos Oz, Cynthia Ozick, Frank Rich, Philip Roth, Judith Shulevitz, Leon Wieseltier, Ruth Wisse, and the late Edward Said, to name but a few. The range of insights and opinions span the political spectrum, and while the contributors may differ, they all provide intellectually stimulating, well-written, and important commentary on the evolving nature of the new anti-Semitism. Highly recommended."—Herbert E. Shapiro, Empire State Coll. of SUNY, Rochester for Library Journal

Journalist Rosenbaum has comiled over four dozen essays that examine the revival of public expressions of anti-semitism. His extensive introduction provides one of the best typographies of anti-semitism written in the last few years, especially as he delineates how some ideas, such as the notion that Zionists control US foreign policy, have achieved acceptance. Recommended. Classroom use, all levels."
Choice (American Library Association)