New Reference Book Review

Antisemitism: A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution

REF DS 146 .E8 A58 2005

Antisemitism can be defined as “thinking and behavior intended to do harm to the reputation, rights, and/or physical well-being of Jews.”  Antisemitism: A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution attempts to combine “scholarly rigor and an emotional subject matter,” and is successful in doing so. It is a two-volume work containing 612 alphabetically arranged articles written by historians that are focused on “the search for truth.”  Entries deal with Jewish issues as they exist outside a homeland and a separate state, with the majority of articles dealing with those occurring within the last 200 years. 

While most entries are short and precise, essays for the more popular figures and events are longer.  The entry on Adolph Hitler, for example, is 2 pages long, but there are several additional entries attributed to his documents and actions, including “Hitler’s Prophecy,” Hitler’s Speeches,” and “Mein Kampf.”  Each entry concludes by giving a bibliography of scholarly, objective materials for further information, with preference given to more recently published materials.  Additionally, the index, at the end of the second volume, contains a helpful comprehensive list of historical terms related to Antisemitism.   

Antisemitism is an excellent new tool for researchers, teachers, and students of history, but is also a very interesting read for even the casual reader.  – Steve


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