In its portrayal of Judaism as a worldwide conspiracy dedicated to the destruction of Christian civilization, the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion remains one of the most infamous documents ever written. Despite being proven a crude forgery, the pamphlet managed to pervade twentieth-century thinking, often being twisted to suit its handlers' purposes, and to justify the most extreme persecution of the Jews. As recently as 2002, a documentary was aired in Egypt falsely presenting the Protocols as fact--and the Protocols is still regarded as a historical document in many other parts of the world.
In A Rumor About the Jews, Stephen Eric Bronner systematically debunks the antisemitic assertions made in the Protocols. He also explores its history, its influence on right-wing movements throughout the twentieth century, and the ongoing appeal of bigotry. A work of intellectual history, A Rumor About the Jews takes the reader on a historical journey that provides a new and deeper understanding of an insidious ideology and its broader implications.
Bronner's sharp and penetrating analysis offers new insights into the nature of antisemitism, along with a warning against underestimating the power of this hateful tract.
Stephen Eric Bronner is Professor of Political Science and Comparative Literature at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He is the author of numerous books on contemporary political thought and culture, including Ideas in Action: Political Tradition in the Twentieth Century (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999) and Imagining the Possible: Radical Politics for Conservative Times (Routledge, 2002).