Exiles from Nowhere

Exiles from Nowhere

The Jews and the Canadian Elite

By Alan Mendelson

Robin Brass Studio, Paperback, 9781896941554, 412pp.

Publication Date: November 2008

An investigation into the attitudes of influential 19th- and 20th-century Canadians that will shock even the most informed. Mendelson examines the thoughts and actions of some of Canada's intellectual elite - a circle that radiates from philosopher George Parkin Grant, known around the world for a conservatism rooted in his Christianity and known in Canada as philosopher of Canadian nationalism. What emerges is an insidious antisemitism and intolerance. Because their belief system affected the actions of those in high places during the moral crisis of the twentieth century - the Holocaust - their genteel antisemitism had deadly consequences. Mendelson begins with public intellectual Goldwin Smith, who churned out antisemitic pieces for periodicals around the world. He investigates Grant's grandfather George Monro Grant, principal of Queen's University, and historian Arnold Toynbee, both believers in Christian supersessionism, the idea that Judaism had been superseded by Christianity. As the author says, it is a curious fact that many of Grant's intellectual and spiritual heroes, such as Martin Heidegger, Louis-Ferdinand C?line and Simone Weil, were all tainted with antisemitism.

About the Author
Alan Mendelson is a professor of Religious Studies at McMaster University.