Page 31 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 6 (1947-1948)

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21
BLOCH ---- THE YEAR ’S BOOKSHELF
a commentary upon race prejudice and class conflicts in America,
with emphasis on the contention th a t well-meaning liberals, unions
and anti-discrimination legislation tend to aggravate rather than
alleviate conditions. Antagonism and hatred between different
races, religions and class groups are viewed as essentially moral
problems th a t can be corrected only by a resurgence of ethical
belief and first of all by a return to morality on the par t of the
individual. In
The challenge of hate
A. R. Lerner and Herbert
Poster (New York, F. F. F. Publishers, Inc., 1947) present “ a
photo-record of democracy’s struggle against disruption and dis-
un ity ,” offering a large number of pictures showing peace meetings
and other efforts at amity, with special reference to Jews, Negroes
and other minorities.
As in his
Under cover
(New York, 1943) John Roy Carlson
[pseud, of Arthur Derounian] in
The plotters
(New York, Dutton,
1946) cites facts, figures, names and offers facsimiles of pertinent
documents in an effort to expose the continued activity of many
of the same obnoxious vermin who were H itler’s best American
friends before Pearl Harbor. The book does not make enjoyable
reading. Its catalogue of unsavory individuals grows quite tire-
some. Many of the most virulent peddlers of hate do so in the
name of religion, and not all of our American fascists are ranting
plug-uglies. Some of them are persons of education, position,
wealth and influence and are to be found in the so-called best
society. Wearing many disguises, most of them quite transparent,
they usually insist tha t their antisemitism in reality is American-
ism, patriotism, yes, nationalism of an extreme variety. But such
extremes are only other aspects of the appeals to hate and fear
and prejudice which are the true bases of fascism. The content of
The plotters
and its implications cannot be dismissed lightly. I t
is curious, indeed, to find the subject dealt with even in a mystery
story,
Keep the coffins coming
by Julius Long (New York, Messner,
1947),
in w h i c h t h e b o d y g u a r d t o t h e a p p a r e n t h e a d o f an a n t i -
S em i t i c , a n t i - N e g r o l e a g u e w a g e s a p r i v a t e w a r t o f ind o u t a n d
e x p o s e t h e p e r s o n w h o is t h e rea l h e a d o f t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n .
In
The emergence of the Jewish problem in the modern world
(New
York, Oxford University Press, 1946) James Parkes points out
th a t “modern antisemitism is a political weapon deliberately
invented and artificially developed for ends which have nothing
to do with the Jewish people or the Jewish religion.” In his over-
all discussion of world Jewry today Dr. Parkes is concerned pri-
marily with the unsolved problems of present-day Palestine, Jewish
minorities elsewhere and the widespread use of antisemitism for
nefarious ends. The Conference on Jewish Relations has done
well in issuing a revised and enlarged edition of the collection of