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On the Origins of Jewish Self-Hatred
Paul Reitter

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"Paul Reitter . . . has an acutely sharp axe in his intellectual probing of the syndrome that surfaces so often in the contemporary debate on Jewish self-hate. . . . The troika of Jewish thinkers who inhabit Reitter's formidable study, tried to navigate the dangerous shoals of modern German history and its impact of German Jews. In resuscitating the complex arguments they offered in their explanation of Jewish self-hate, Reitter has performed a valuable exercise--for which we are in his debt."--Arnold Ages, Jewish Tribune


"Paul Reitter's excavation of the phrase 'Jewish self-hatred' provides a fascinating lens through which to view the challenges faced by German Jews, whose integration had stalled by the early twentieth century. Since the phrase has become a casually used pejorative in today's debates over Zionism and the State of Israel, Reitter's genealogy of its origins has real contemporary relevance."--David Biale, University of California, Davis

"A readable, sensible, well-researched conceptual history. Reitter's portraits of the secondary figures Anton Kuh and Otto Gross are especially fresh and apposite."--Jonathan Franzen

"On the Origins of Jewish Self-Hatred is an impressively fluent, deeply learned, and morally responsible treatment of what can be an incendiary label. Reitter's major revelation is that the concept of Jewish self-hatred emerged as part of an affirmative discourse rather than as a label of denunciation. This stylish essay should have a wide impact."--Samuel Moyn, Columbia University

"This book is a short but intense piece of scholarship with an engaging polemical edge. Reitter makes a counterintuitive and somewhat jarring claim: that the term 'Jewish self-hatred' was originally understood as salvific and cleansing, more an antidote to a malady than the malady. On the Origins of Jewish Self-Hatred will stimulate impassioned debate."--David N. Myers, University of California, Los Angeles

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File created: 4/24/2017

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