How to Fight Anti-Semitism

Narrated by: Bari Weiss
Length: 5 hrs and 50 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, Politics
4.5 out of 5 stars (147 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The prescient New York Times writer delivers an urgent wake-up call to all Americans exposing the alarming rise of anti-Semitism in this country - and explains what we can do to defeat it.

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD

"Stunning...Bari Weiss is heroic, fearless, brilliant and big-hearted. Most importantly, she is right." (Lisa Taddeo, number one New York Times best-selling author of Three Women)

On October 27, 2018, 11 Jews were gunned down as they prayed at their synagogue in Pittsburgh. It was the deadliest attack on Jews in American history.

For most Americans, the massacre at Tree of Life, the synagogue where Bari Weiss became a bat mitzvah, came as a total shock. But anti-Semitism is the oldest hatred, commonplace across the Middle East and on the rise for years in Europe. So that terrible morning in Pittsburgh raised a question Americans can no longer avoid: Could it happen here?

This audiobook is Weiss' answer.

Like many, Weiss long believed this country could escape the rising tide of anti-Semitism. With its promise of free speech and religion, its insistence that all people are created equal, its tolerance for difference, and its emphasis on shared ideals rather than bloodlines, America has been, even with all its flaws, a new Jerusalem for the Jewish people. But now the luckiest Jews in history are beginning to face a three-headed dragon known all too well to Jews of other times and places: the physical fear of violent assault, the moral fear of ideological vilification, and the political fear of resurgent fascism and populism.

No longer the exclusive province of the far right, the far left, and assorted religious bigots, anti-Semitism now finds a home in identity politics as well as the reaction against identity politics, in the renewal of America First isolationism and the rise of one-world socialism, and in the spread of Islamist ideas into unlikely places. A hatred that was, until recently, reliably taboo is migrating toward the mainstream, amplified by social media and a culture of conspiracy that threatens us all.

Weiss is one of our most provocative writers, and her cri de couer makes a powerful case for renewing Jewish and American values in this uncertain moment. Not just for the sake of America’s Jews, but for the sake of America.

©2019 Bari Weiss (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"How to Fight Anti-Semitism is violently stunning. It broke my heart - and then made me want to repair someone else’s. In these pages and everywhere else, Bari Weiss is heroic, fearless, brilliant, and big-hearted. Most important, she is right." (Lisa Taddeo, best-selling author of Three Women)

"This is the most important book you will read this year. Concise, morally certain, it’s a bullet train from the first sentence to the last. There needs to be a copy in every classroom in the country. If you think something dark is rising, you’re right. What can you do? This is what you do." (Caitlin Flanagan, staff writer, The Atlantic, and author of To Hell with All That)

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    3 out of 5 stars

Shallow and confused

HOW TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM: Antisemitism has been a major evil of humanity for many centuries. Under the twentieth century twin socialist ideologies of fascism/Naziism and communism it reached its zenith resulting in the murder and loss of homes of many millions of Jews. Antisemitism was tamped down somewhat after WWII but it is on the rise again in Europe and in the US, especially in academia, progressives in general, and with neo-Nazis.

Author Bari Weiss is a journalist with the New York Times. She grew up in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and she has close family members who still worship there. That is the synagogue where a shooting during sabbath worship services on October 27, 2018 killed 11 people. She says this book is in response to that shooting.

Before she gets into who the anti Jewish people are the author launches into an anti Trump screed which is fine except the president is neither a racist or anti-Semite (but he is a Twitter abuser). She then identifies neo-Nazis on the extreme right as anti-Semites. She also says that Hungary and Poland have extreme right wing governments that are potentially anti-Jewish because they are not very immigrant friendly, but she later says those countries have fewer anti-Semitic hate crimes than other European countries. This is an example of the author's confusion.

I was inclined to award this book only one star due to the author's wishy-washy treatment of progressive antisemitism. However, she did call anti-Zionism antisemitism which is more than many others are willing to do. So that earns 3 stars.

As she moves from right wing to leftist antisemitism the author is forced to take on the issue of Zionism. Zionism is the political and religious movement to establish and secure the modern state of Israel. The current anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement claims to be anti-Zionism but not antisemitism. The author takes the position (with which I agree) that anti-Zionism is antisemitism; that is, being against the modern state of Israel is anti-Semitic. Her support of her position is weak, shallow, and confused. The author makes several negative comments about nationalism in the US and in reference to Hungary and Poland, but she strongly supports Israeli nationalism; nationalism is bad she says unless it is Israeli nationalism which is good. She does admit that some Jews, especially in the US, are anti-Zionist (I personally know some and I believe they are wrong).

Ms. Weiss struggles with the fact that most progressives in Europe and a likely majority in the US are anti-Zionism. I suspect a clear majority of her fellow NYT employees are anti-Zionist. So although she writes much about progressive antisemitism she does so in much too guarded a manner likely to avoid offending her fellow progressives. Although neo-Nazis in the US and Europe are a very real threat to Jews, the size of the threat is small compared to the goals of anti-Zionists and their threat to the lives of over 6 million Jews in Israel as the BDS movement gains momentum.

The author does a very nice job of narration.

9 people found this helpful

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Insightful, shocking, factual, an important moment in history that has largely gone unnoticed.

Articulate but not verbose, explosive but not dogmatic, this is the most up-to-date, complete, and accurate accounting of the phenomenon to-date. Required reading for anyone interested in better understanding and combatting modern antisemitism from both the Right and the Left. Potentially jarring for those who haven’t previously researched this topic with accurate information or instruction—prepare to reevaluate some beliefs you may have mistakenly held prior to reading. Weiss’ performance in the audiobook is also excellent.

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Great subject, poor execution

The subject matter is a hugely important issue whose portrayal here is soiled by the imposition of political bias. The issue of anti-Semitism is bigger than Red Vs. Blue and to force the two into the same rhetological space turns great injustice into mere background noise. I will continue to research this issue, but perhaps from a more objective source.

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An important book for Jews & non-Jews

Ms. Weiss does an excellent job describing the current state of antisemitism emanating from the left and right. She includes important historical information but the focus is on the here and now and how Jews and their allies can best confront this resurgent beast.

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Must read! (Listen)

This treatise on anti-Semitism is a must read for all, and, maybe especially, for non-Jews.
Setting out the history of anti-Semitism, it lays bare pervasive anti-Semitism worldwide, and with glaring fact-based particularity in the United States, today.



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Unbiased analysis so rare in current polarized times

Excellent book bringing an unbiased perspective on current antisemitism trends in the US from someone who wrote for many years for the WSJ and currently writes for the NYT.

Most of us know pretty well the antisemitism from the right and from the Islamic world. But few are aware of the growing antisemitism from the left and, more importantly, that it has become mainstream on the left. The fact that Ilhan Omar speaks antisemitic tropes is not surprising - the poor reaction to her words by the Democratic Party is the real problem and a clear indication of how mainstream antisemitism has become on the progressive left.

This is why, in my view, the antisemitism from the left is currently the most dangerous. Also because the left has allied itself with the islamic world all over the western world. Because Jews historically vote Democrat, antisemitism from the left tends to be a blind spot.

This is a must-read for all Jews! And for everyone interested in keeping the US a liberal democratic society. Because antisemitism always starts with the Jews but never ends with the Jews.

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Powerful analysis and call to action

As with her columns in the NYT, Weiss has written a book that is original and unflinching in its diagnosis; brave in its ability to call out the problems associated with anti-semitism across the aisle, and emphatic in its exhortations as to what to do about this. She also narrates the book effectively. A quick but important read.

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Excellent summary of the current situation

Important and compelling look at all facets of contemporary anti-Semitism. Special treat to have it read by the author. Listen today with an open mind.

1 person found this helpful

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An important book for our timr

Barri Weiss clearly lays out many of the overt and subtle signs of antisemitism. She does not limit her argument to only one side of the political spectrum and talks about what risks there are in the myopic “it’s the other side’s problem” approach.

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Proud to be a JEW

Makes me
Very proud to BE A
JEW and all of the street fights defending my religion and family back in BROOKLYN

1 person found this helpful