Stephen H. Norwood has written the first systematic study of the American far left's role in both propagating and combating antisemitism. This book covers Communists from 1920 onward, Trotskyists, the New Left and its black nationalist allies, and the contemporary remnants of the New Left. Professor Norwood analyzes the deficiencies of the American far left's explanations of Nazism and the Holocaust. He explores far left approaches to militant Islam, from condemnation of its fierce antisemitism in the 1930s to recent apologies for jihad. Norwood discusses the far left's use of long-standing theological and economic antisemitic stereotypes that the far right also embraced. The study analyzes the far left's antipathy to Jewish culture, as well as its occasional efforts to promote it. He considers how early Marxist and Bolshevik paradigms continued to shape American far left views of Jewish identity, Zionism, Israel, and antisemitism.
Stephen H. Norwood (PhD, Columbia University) is Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of five books on American history, including The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower (Cambridge University Press, 2009), which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award for Holocaust Studies. He was co-editor of the Encyclopedia of American Jewish History (2008, with Eunice G. Pollack), which won Booklist's Editor's Choice Award.
1. Promoting a socialism of fools: the new left's debt to the old left; 2. American communists' tangled responses to antisemitism and nazism, 1920-39; 3. World War II: the limits of American far left concern for European Jewry; 4. Assimilation abandoned: communist resistance to antisemitism and celebration of Jewish culture in the immediate postwar period; 5. 'Two, four, six, eight, we demand a Jewish state': American communist support for partition and the Jewish war of liberation, 1947-8; 6. 'Fiends in human form': taking conspiratorial antisemitism to a new level; 7. The Jewish question discarded: far left hostility to Jews and Israel, 1956-73; 8. Shaping the next generations: the persistence of far left antisemitism, 1973-2012.