Blacks and Jews: Alliances and Arguments

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Paul Berman
Delacorte Press, 1994 - History - 303 pages
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The riots in Crown Heights, New York. The fiery speeches of Khalid Muhammad. The controversial politics of Farrakhanism. The relationship between American Jews and African-Americans has made front-page headlines in the 1990s and has become one of the country's most provocative issues. The recent explosive events have provoked a new assessment of the many years of discord between these sometime allies, sometime enemies - and a return to the simple yet perplexing question: What is the fight really about? From Paul Berman, renowned writer and critically acclaimed editor of Debating PC, comes a stunning collection of nineteen essays by some of the foremost thinkers of our time - a groundbreaking volume that offers a spectrum of distinguished writing on the subject, exploding myths and finding moral absolutes, baring souls and distilling ideas with logic, passion, and candor. Several of the essays chosen for this collection are original works that appear here for the first time. And several are well-established classics, including the famous New York Times op-ed article by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., James Baldwin's "Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They're Anti-White," Norman Podhoretz's "My Negro Problem - and Ours," and Cynthia Ozick's "Literary Blacks and Jews." Both Podhoretz and Ozick have written, especially for this volume, new retrospective commentaries on their own classic essays. Bold meditations on the history of black-Jewish relations are offered by Andrew Hacker and Cornel West, as well as by Paul Berman in his essay "The Other and the Almost the Same," which was widely discussed when it came out in The New Yorker. There are passionate analyses by Shelby Steele, Leon Wieseltier, Richard Goldstein, Jim Sleeper, Joe Wood, bell hooks, and several others. The Civil Rights Movement, the rise of Black Power, Third World alliances, Israel and Zionism, affirmative action, neoconservatism, American slavery, racial segregation, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust - all these topics are woven into a brilliant and eloquent discussion of an issue that is shaping our time. In Blacks and Jews we can hear responsible voices, liberal and conservative alike, speaking from the intellect and from the heart about bigotry and prejudice in today's America, and about the hope for tolerance and democracy in the American future.

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BLACKS AND JEWS: Alliances and Arguments

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

This angst-ridden compilation of essays reviews the last 30 years of intellectual cogitation about relations between blacks and Jews. Berman (editor of Debating PC, not reviewed) has selected 19 ... Read full review


Cynthia Ozick

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About the author (1994)

Berman is regarded as one of American's top political and cultural commentators. He is now a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University.

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