THE JEWISH MYSTIQUE by Ernest van den Haag


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The author is a psychoanalyst and sociologist at New York University which provides some academic credentials for what seems like a suppositious inquiry into the Jewish character. Throughout a good deal of aye and naysaying, a few firm attributes are asserted: intellectual eminence for one; an affiliation which is chiefly a sense of identification rather than formal religion; ""the moral mission of being Jews and of preserving themselves as such"" although by the final chapter Professor van den Haag projects the race assimilating themselves out of existence. He ranges over a good many areas -- their humor; their susceptibility to radical ideas; their attraction to the professions and to finance: their habitats. Flaccid attributions abound: ""It is the Jews who have given the essential meaning to the last 2000 years of Western history""; ""confused by their guilt feeling, Jews cannot grasp that many Negro demands are irrational""; ""regardless of the right and wrongs, Jews tend to be in favor of the arrested, not of the policeman who arrests him."" An even more intrepid speculation -- Jews, who place greater priority on the mind then the body, are likely to repudiate sex and therefore have been more prominent in producing brassieres and girdles. A rationale for What Makes Sammy Run in the undergarment industry?

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Stein & Day