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Old Demons, New Debates: Anti-Semitism in the West

Book CoverOld Demons, New Debates: Anti-Semitism in the West              (Holmes& Meier/YIVO Institute, 2005)

Old Demons, New Debates: Anti-Semitism in the West, edited by Professor David I. Kertzer of Brown University, is a collection of essays based on talks delivered at an international conference hosted by YIVO in 2003. The book includes 15 chapters by academics, philosophers, journalists and other public intellectuals from the United States, Israel, France, Poland, Germany, Britain, Italy and Mexico.

"No other major book displays the level of expertise of Old Demons, "Kertzer contends. "It puts anti-Semitism in a larger-world context. And it delves into the roles of Western intellectuals, who are often the leaders of a new, reconstituted anti-Semitism."

As noted on the Holmes & Meier web site, "Old Demons, New Debates offers a provocative new view on the recent upsurge of anti-Semitism in the West. The authors - including both well-known public intellectuals and major scholars - address themselves to a broad audience. They describe the new anti-Semitism, and show how it draws on older forms of Jew hatred while being fueled by both anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism. Special attention is paid to the situation in Europe - with particular emphasis on France and England - and the United States. As the authors show, the new anti-Semitism, far from being the exclusive province of the ignorant and unlettered, is nourished by intellectuals and elites. Is anti-Semitism really no longer a danger? Or are the old demons back? Old Demons, New Debates is sure to trigger heated new debates on this crucial issue."

In his preface, Kertzer notes, "Not only have we been receiving a disturbing series of reports of fire-bombings of synagogues, desecrations of Jewish cemeteries and verbal and physical assaults on Jews because they are Jews, but the blaming of Jews for the world's problems has again begun to gain currency."

Chapter titles and authors:

Preface - David I. Kertzer

  • Old Demons, New Debates - Leon Wieseltier
  • The New Anti-Semitism: Genealogy and Implications - Omer Bartov
  • The End of Politics - Mark Lilla
  • Zionism and Anti-Semitism - Hillel Halkin
  • Israel, Globalization, and Anti-Semitism in Europe - Fiamma Nirenstein
  • Anti-Semitism and the English Intelligentsia - Anthony Julius
  • Playground for Jihad? The Case of Great Britain - Robert S. Wistrich
  • The Retreat of the Strong State and the New Anti-Semitic Mobilization inFrance - Pierre Birnbaum
  • Esau Can Change, but Will We Notice? - Konstanty Gebert
  • Telling the Past Anew: Recent Polish Debates on Anti-Semitism - Jaroslaw Anders
  • Anti-Semitism in the Spanish-Speaking World - Enrique Krauze
  • Anti-Semitism and the Vatican Today - David I. Kertzer
  • Holocaust Denial - Deborah Lipstadt
  • Anti-Semitism in the United States - Nathan Glazer
  • The Globalization of Anti-Semitism - Daniel Jonah Goldhagen





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