Antisemitism: A Very Short Introduction (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780198724834

Steven Beller
160 Pages
116 x 174 mm
Pub date
Oct 2015
Very Short Introductions


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In this Very Short Introduction, Steven Beller explores the historical and political intricacies of Antisemitism, an issue which has been a ...

New to this Edition:

  • Examines why Antisemitism appears to be so persistent throughout history
  • Focuses on the growth of political Antisemitism in the 19th century, and uses this as a frame to consider its historical roots, its social and cultural impact, and its consequences
  • Discusses the role and attitudes of key figures such as Wagner, Nietzsche, and Marx, as well as key texts such as the forged 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'
  • Looks at Antisemitism beyond the Holocaust: from the establishment of Israel, to 'Aryan' supremacism in the US, Holocaust denial, and Islamic anti-Zionism
  • Incorporates new research on the motivation and responsibility for the Holocaust
  • Addresses 'Muslim antisemitism' and the hostility to Israel and Israeli policy in light of recent political developments
  • Re-evaluates traditional political antisemitism after the financial crash of 2008 and the ensuing wave of xenophobia and nationalism in Europe

Antisemitism, as hatred of Jews and Judaism, has been a central problem of Western civilization for millennia, and its history continues to invite debate. 
This Very Short Introduction untangles the history of the phenomenon, from ancient religious conflict to 'new' antisemitism in the 21st century. Steven Beller reveals how Antisemitism grew as a political and ideological movement in the 19th century, how it reached its dark apogee in the worst genocide in modern history - the Holocaust - and how Antisemitism still persists around the world today.
In the new edition of this thought-provoking Very Short Introduction, Beller brings his examination of this complex and still controversial issue up to date with a discussion of Antisemitism in light of the 2008 financial crash, the Arab Spring, and the on-going crisis between Israel and Palestine. 


1: What is antisemitism?
2: The burden of the past
3: The Chosen People
4: The culture of irrationalism
5: The perils of modernity
6: Concatenations
7: Consequences
8: After Auschwitz
Further Reading

About the author: 

Steven Beller is a Visiting Scholar at George Washington University, Washington DC, and a former Research Fellow in History at Peterhouse College, Cambridge. His previous books include Democracy: All That Matters (Hodder & Stoughton, 2013) and A Concise History of Austria (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

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