A wise and wide-ranging explanation of never-ending exaggeration–by both philo-Semites and anti-Semites–about the Jews
Hamas blames the financial crisis on Jews. Mel Gibson blamed all the wars on Jews. Jews win a disproportionate number of Nobel prizes. Dishy Danish citizen Scarlett Johansson is Jewish, Madonna is into Jewish mysticism, and some claim that Abe Lincoln was Jewish. Who cares? Nearly everyone, it seems. If it's about Jews, it's news. Adam Garfinkle looks deeply into the world's obsession with Jews, positive as well as negative, to find answers about where it comes from and where it might be going. He identifies four categories of exaggeration about Jews: positive bias by Jews and non-Jews, and negative bias by Jews and non-Jews. Combining insights from history, sociology, religion, and international politics, he explains how a misunderstanding of strategies that have kept the Jewish Diaspora going for millennia have led to distortions about Jewish influence, intelligence, and success–and to charges of chauvinism, financial manipulation, and conspiratorial lever-pulling.
Adam Garfinkle (Washington, DC) is the founding editor of the American Interest, a bimonthly magazine on politics and public affairs. Formerly a speechwriter for both Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, Garfinkle has taught international relations at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Tel Aviv University.