KIKE!"": A Documentary History of Anti-Semitism in America by Michael -- Ed. Selzer

KIKE!"": A Documentary History of Anti-Semitism in America

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A motley collection of anti-Semitic tracts, pamphlets, doggerel and miscellaneous calumnies culled from the rich lodes of nativist bigotry. Beginning with Peter Stuyvesant's efforts to ""require them in a friendly way to depart"" from New Amsterdam in 1654 and ending with nco-Nazi fulminations on the international Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy, Seizer has amassed 400 years worth of hate sheets all of which monotonously reiterate age-old libels and epithets. The majority date from the years 1880-1920 when Eastern European Jewish immigration reached its peak, although American spin-offs of Fascist ideology are also represented. Despite the broad sweep, Selzer's presentation is wholly ahistorical and lacking any sociological matrix. By labeling anti-Semitism a ""moral aberration"" which testifies to the innate depravity of man, Seizer avoids the editorial obligation of correlating its waxing and waning to the mainstream of American political and economic development. Virulent and ubiquitous, anti-Semitism is made to seem free-floating, ineffable, and as ""mysterious"" as the Jews themselves -- hence any attempt to trace its growth as a function of class, education, urbanization or industrialism is bypassed in favor of facile moralizing. Those doing the ranting include Henry Adams, H. L. Mencken, the writers of assorted 19th century dime novels and the jingoistic yellow press. Foreword by Herbert Gold who suggests that today the Jew is no longer ""exotic enough"" to inspire much outrage, his place having been usurped in the popular imagination by ""the commie red bastard hippie spade junkie kid."" A sloppy collation of haphazard raw material.

Pub Date: May 22nd, 1972
Publisher: World