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Antisemitism and the American Far Left

$24.99 (P)

  • Date Published: August 2013
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107657007

$ 24.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Stephen H. Norwood has written the first systematic study of the American far left's role in both propagating and combating antisemitism. This book covers Communists from 1920 onward, Trotskyists, the New Left and its black nationalist allies, and the contemporary remnants of the New Left. Professor Norwood analyzes the deficiencies of the American far left's explanations of Nazism and the Holocaust. He explores far left approaches to militant Islam, from condemnation of its fierce antisemitism in the 1930s to recent apologies for jihad. Norwood discusses the far left's use of long-standing theological and economic antisemitic stereotypes that the far right also embraced. The study analyzes the far left's antipathy to Jewish culture, as well as its occasional efforts to promote it. He considers how early Marxist and Bolshevik paradigms continued to shape American far left views of Jewish identity, Zionism, Israel, and antisemitism.

    • Breaks ground in systematically analyzing the American far left's responses to the Holocaust, Zionism, and Israel
    • Covers changing far left views of and approaches to radical Islam and Middle Eastern terrorism
    • Provides a penetrating examination of the far left's attitudes and policies toward Jewish identity, culture, assimilation, and antisemitism
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The far left in America went into decline decades ago, but its virulent denigration of Jews and Israel persists to this day. Anyone wishing to understand the origins of this hostility and its role in contemporary antisemitism will benefit greatly from reading Stephen Norwood’s copiously documented, revealing book."
    Alvin H. Rosenfeld, Indiana University

    "Most American Jews are politically progressive and are accustomed to thinking of antisemitism as an expression of right-wing ideology. Liberal Jews are often surprised and dismayed to discover how pervasive antisemitism, often thinly disguised as anti-Zionism, has become on the political left. In this brilliant work, Stephen Norwood traces the roots of the antisemitism of the left and discovers that what nineteenth-century German Social Democratic leader August Bebel called ‘the Socialism of fools’ has a long history on the left side of the political spectrum. This book should be read by everyone who refuses to acknowledge that liberal politics is perfectly capable of accommodating antisemitism. As Bebel knew, there is no shortage of antisemitic Socialist fools."
    Benjamin Ginsberg, David Bernstein Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University, and author of How the Jews Defeated Hitler

    "… [a] prodigious work of scholarship …"
    Chicago Jewish Star

    "… [a] bracing new book …"
    Ronald Radosh, Commentary

    "Norwood's documentation provides a detailed and useful tool for understanding a[n] under-illuminated aspect of … US anti-Semitism …"
    Sina Arnold, translated from H-Soz-u-Kult

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107657007
    • length: 324 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 20 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Promoting a socialism of fools: the new left's debt to the old left
    2. American communists' tangled responses to antisemitism and nazism, 1920–39
    3. World War II: the limits of American far left concern for European Jewry
    4. Assimilation abandoned: communist resistance to antisemitism and celebration of Jewish culture in the immediate postwar period
    5. 'Two, four, six, eight, we demand a Jewish state': American communist support for partition and the Jewish war of liberation, 1947–8
    6. 'Fiends in human form': taking conspiratorial antisemitism to a new level
    7. The Jewish question discarded: far left hostility to Jews and Israel, 1956–73
    8. Shaping the next generations: the persistence of far left antisemitism, 1973–2012.

  • Author

    Stephen H. Norwood, University of Oklahoma
    Stephen H. Norwood (PhD, Columbia University) is Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of five books on American history, including The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower (Cambridge University Press, 2009), which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award for Holocaust Studies. He was co-editor of the Encyclopedia of American Jewish History (2008, with Eunice G. Pollack), which won Booklist's Editor's Choice Award.

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