Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump
St. Martin's Press, 9781250169938, 256pp.
Publication Date: March 20, 2018
In the wake of Donald Trump's election and the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, (((Semitism))) is a powerful book that examines how we can fight anti-Semitism in America
A San Francisco Chronicle Reader Recommendation
The Washington Post: "Timely...[A] passionate call to arms."
Jewish Book Council: "Could not be more important or timely."
Bernard-Henri Lévy: "It would be wonderful if anti-Semitism was a European specialty and stopped at the border with the United States. Alas, this is not the case. Jonathan Weisman’s new book (((Semitism))) shows why..."
Michael Eric Dyson: "With eloquence and poignancy Weisman shows how hatred can slowly and quietly chew away at the moral fabric of society. We now live in an age where more than ever bigotry and oppression no longer need to hide in fear of reproach. The floodgates have opened. This is much more than a personal response to the bigotry he experienced because of his Jewishness; Weisman has written a manifesto that outlines the dangers of marginalizing and demonizing all minority groups. This powerful book is for all of us."
Anti-Semitism has always been present in American culture, but with the rise of the Alt Right and an uptick of threats to Jewish communities since Trump took office, including the the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, New York Times editor Jonathan Weisman has produced a book that could not be more important or timely. When Weisman was attacked on Twitter by a wave of neo-Nazis and anti-Semites, witnessing tropes such as the Jew as a leftist anarchist; as a rapacious, Wall Street profiteer; and as a money-bags financier orchestrating war for Israel, he stopped to wonder: How has the Jewish experience changed, especially under a leader like Donald Trump?
In (((Semitism))), Weisman explores the disconnect between his own sense of Jewish identity and the expectations of his detractors and supporters. He delves into the rise of the Alt Right, their roots in older anti-Semitic organizations, the odd ancientness of their grievances—cloaked as they are in contemporary, techy hipsterism—and their aims—to spread hate in a palatable way through a political structure that has so suddenly become tolerant of their views.
He concludes with what we should do next, realizing that vicious as it is, anti-Semitism must be seen through the lens of more pressing threats. He proposes a unification of American Judaism around the defense of self and of others even more vulnerable: the undocumented immigrants, refugees, Muslim Americans, and black activists who have been directly targeted, not just by the tolerated Alt Right, but by the Trump White House itself.
About the Author
Praise For (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump…
"Timely...American Jews face an enormous challenge in overcoming our civic complacency and internal fractiousness, and Weisman’s searing study of the rise of the alt-right reminds us that our privileged role in this society can never be taken for granted...[a] passionate call to arms." —The Washington Post
"Weisman looks at the history of anti-Semitism in America, and the ways in which today’s environment is both similar to and different than previous times." —Slate
"It is the advent of Trumpian politics — its nonstop carnival of paranoia; its scapegoating of Hispanics and African-Americans; its anti-immigrant phobia — that has rung Weisman’s alarm bells." —The New York Times Book Review
"[A] bold book...Weisman bluntly paints, with examples, a portrait of the American fascism on our doorstep, in the wind and in the body politic." —Atlanta Jewish Times
"Could not be more important or timely." —Jewish Book Council
“Powerful.” —Moment Magazine
“Compelling...A book that every Jewish voter should read…[Weisman] offers a rich and illuminating account of how Jewish immigrants have fared in the United States, drawing on his own family’s experiences in Georgia as examples...A call to action.” —The Jewish Journal
"Weisman writes about his own Jewish identity and about the rise of anti-Semitism, calling on American Jews to unite around the defense of self and others." —The Jewish Week
"It would be wonderful if anti-Semitism was a European specialty and stopped at the border with the United States. Alas, this is not the case. Jonathan Weisman’s new book (((Semitism))) shows why..." —Bernard-Henri Lévy, philosopher, filmmaker and the author of The Genius of Judaism
"A chilling look at anti-Semitism in America in the wake of Donald Trump’s political ascendancy...a thoughtful and deeply personal account." —Publisher's Weekly
"With eloquence and poignancy Weisman shows how hatred can slowly and quietly chew away at the moral fabric of society. We now live in an age where more than ever bigotry and oppression no longer need to hide in fear of reproach. The floodgates have opened. This is much more than a personal response to the bigotry he experienced because of his Jewishness; Weisman has written a manifesto that outlines the dangers of marginalizing and demonizing all minority groups. This powerful book is for all of us." —Michael Eric Dyson, New York Times bestselling author of Tears We Cannot Stop
"An urgent and compelling report on the clear and present danger of proto-fascism in the U.S." —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Jonathan Weisman has written a fast-paced, poignant, strikingly honest account of being forced to reckon more deeply with his Jewishness because of the recognition that people hate him for it. It’s an ancient Jewish story, made newly relevant in Trump’s America. And Weisman tells it beautifully.” —Peter Beinart, author of The Crisis of Zionism
"In this courageous, intensely personal narrative, Jonathan Weisman confronts the realities facing all Jewish Americans – as well as many other minorities – at a moment when old safeguards against overt anti-Semitism and racism are rapidly disappearing. Weisman revisits the American past to challenge conventional impressions of Jews’ historic relationship with their neighbors and draws connections to current events, dispelling complacency and rallying its readers with fresh ideas." —Ethan Michaeli, author of The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America
"Passionate, candid, and elegant, (((Semitism))) is a moving exploration of Jewish life in Donald Trump’s America, and of the sinister specters of prejudice so many of us assumed belonged in the distant past. Jonathan Weisman has given us a stirring and necessary reminder that we are all, Jews and non-Jews alike, in the throes of a dire national moral crisis, and that it is up to all of us to rise together against bigotry’s startling ascendance." —Liel Leibovitz, Senior Writer, Tablet Magazine