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Ideology and experience: Antisemitism in France at the time of the Dreyfus affair (The Littman library of Jewish civilization)

Wilson, Stephen

Editore: Associated University Presses, 1982
ISBN 10: 0838630375 / ISBN 13: 9780838630372
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Titolo: Ideology and experience: Antisemitism in ...

Casa editrice: Associated University Presses

Data di pubblicazione: 1982

Condizione libro: very good


Gently used. Expect delivery in 2-3 weeks. Codice inventario libreria 9780838630372-3

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Riassunto: In this analysis of racialism in late-nineteenth-century France, antisemitism is studied not in isolation but in its social context, as an indicator and symptom of profound social change. As anticapitalism, for example, antisemitism expressedòhostility to modern economic forms and ‘the rule of money’; as a kind of socialism, it expressed opposition to the establishment without calling the social hierarchy into question; as a kind of nationalism and as racialism, it created a sense of belonging, in opposition to the Jews and to other supposedly alien groups within French society. Other aspects studied in the book are the religious, the sexual, and the cultural and intellectual, in which antisemitism again acted as the vehicle for the expression of the fears inspired by and in reaction to the experience of rapid change, which was seen as a fundamental decadence. Always the supposed action of the Jews supplied an explanation of otherwise inexplicable phenomena. Analysis of involvement in the Dreyfus Affair, which dramatized antisemitism and gave it new appeal and legitimacy, and of the antisemitic movement and its activities, indicates which social groups were particularly attracted to antisemitism: students, the clergy and Catholics generally, shopkeepers, army officers, members of the liberal professions, and the aristocracy. In each case, particular anxieties and grievances were articulated through a common ideology. There is little evidence that antisemitism was prompted by any experience of actual co-existence with anyòJewish communities, except in the east of France; the choice of Jews as scapegoats has, rather, historical and religious explanations. Antisemitism at this time was propagated by ‘intellectuals’ through newspapers, pamphlets, and books;òthe new cultural media were used to fashion an abstract ideology from much older folk beliefs. The antisemitic movement of the time had no coherent programme. It did advocate various measures, culminating in extermination, against the Jews, but this was rhetoric, not practical policy. (PRINT ON DEMAND)

Sinossi: In this analysis of racism in late nineteenth-century France, anti-Semitism is studied in its social context as an indicator and symptom of social change. The author provides a more general analysis of anti-Semitic ideology in France, and he concludes with a study of the Jewish response to this challenge.

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