The Wicked Son
Anti-Semitism, Self-hatred, and the Jews
By David Mamet
(Schocken, Paperback, 9780805211573, 208pp.)
Publication Date: September 15, 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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David Mamet's interest in anti-Semitism is not limited to the modern face of an ancient hatred but encompasses as well the ways in which many Jews have internalized that hatred. Using the metaphor of the Wicked Son at the Passover seder (the child who asks, "What does this story mean to you?") Mamet confronts what he sees as an insidious predilection among some Jews to exclude themselves from the equation and to seek truth and meaning anywhere--in other religions, political movements, mindless entertainment--but in Judaism itself. He also explores the ways in which the Jewish tradition has long been and still remains the Wicked Son in the eyes of the world. Written with the searing honesty and verbal brilliance that is the hallmark of Mamet's work, The Wicked Son is a powerfully thought-provoking look at one of the most destructive and tenacious forces in contemporary life.
David Mamet is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright, as well as a director, a novelist, a poet, and an essayist. He has written the screenplays for more than twenty films, including Homicide (which he also directed), Wag the Dog, and the Oscar-nominated The Verdict. His more than twenty plays include Speed-the-Plow, American Buffalo, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Glengarry Glen Ross. His work on Jewish subjects includes That Old Religion, Bar Mitzvah, Passover and Five Cities of Refuge, a Torah commentary written with Rabbi Lawrence Kushner. He lives in California.
"A bold and blistering attack on all aspects of this enduring phenomenon, and a probing analysis of its root causes and some of its more insidious manifestations."
“Like everything Mamet does, [The Wicked Son] is blunt and bracing, honest and provocative, original and gutsy.”
–The New York Times Book Review
“Rare among the defenders of the Jews–and of Judaism– Mamet recognizes the romance in the story of his ancient religion and race, and finds the words beautiful enough to describe it.”
–The International Jerusalem Post
“[Mamet’s] clarity, insight, and passion . . . can be both devastatingly witty and scathingly angry.”
–The New York Post
–The Jewish Observer