By Anthony Julius — (Book Review abridged by henrymakow.com) Sept 14, 2013
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, wants us to believe that anti-Semitism is the devil as the devil is envisioned by revealed religion. That it has no parallel in the history of prejudice. That it has been at the core of Christian civilization for two millennia. That, inscribed in the Quran, it is the constituent feature of Arab and Islamic civilizations. Anti-Semitism, moreover, has had its reach vastly expanded by the new, anti-Israel, form it has taken–as well as by the fact that Jew-hating populaces have been migrating around the world, specifically from Arab and Islamic countries to Europe and elsewhere….
If the book delivered on its claims, it would be most welcome. But this is a bad book. It lacks balance and originality. It misrepresents or misreads several readily available texts. It is radically under-researched–the brief endnotes comprising mostly Web references to news items. (For example, though he criticizes Stéphane Hessel’s 2010 book, “Time for Outrage!,” the relevant endnote cites not the book itself but a New York Times story about it.) It is characterized throughout by overstatement and contains some truly ludicrous judgments. (John Chrysostom wasn’t “the most significant theologian of the Catholic Church after Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire.”) Its tone is querulous, hectoring and self-important. (Apparently, we needed Mr. Goldhagen to point out the significance of English as a world language, a feature of the global era hitherto, he says, “virtually uncommented-upon.”)….
I have written this review with reluctance. That there should be strife within the party to which Mr. Goldhagen and I both belong, the party of anti-anti-Semites, will only give satisfaction to the haters. But we must be the smart, truth-telling participants in this terrible struggle; we must be intelligent in our judgments, reliable in the claims we make. And for sure, while we must not minimize dangers, we shouldn’t overstate them either. “The Devil That Never Dies” doesn’t contribute to our existing understanding of anti-Semitism; it doesn’t give anti-anti-Semites fresh, good arguments. Indeed, it is so easily and justly dismissible, it weakens the very cause its author seeks to promote.
Interview with the author– Daniel-Goldhagen
Michael Hoffman Unable to Understand Protocols of Zion
Below that, I post Michael Hoffman’s comment on Goldhagen’s book but take him to task for dismissing the Protocols of Zion as “cartoonish” and “lurid, probably faked.” This is an astonishing lapse by Hoffman who seems to think that the Protocols are a clever ruse to distract us from the evils of the Talmud, as if the two were incompatible.