This is an eloquent and deeply felt memoir exploring the author's complex relationship with his Jewish identity. "If I Am Not Myself" is a passionate, thought-provoking exploration of what it means to be Jewish in the twenty-first century. It traces the author's upbringing in 1960s Jewish-American suburbia, his anti-war and pro-Palestinian activism on the British Left, and life as a Jew among Muslims in Pakistan, Morocco, and Britain. Interwoven with this are the experiences of his grandfather's life in Jewish New York of the 1930s and '40s, his struggles with anti-Semitism and the twists and turns that led him from anti-Fascism to Militant Zionism. In the course of this deeply personal story, Marqusee refutes the claims of Israel and Zionism on Jewish loyalty and laments their impact on the Jewish Diaspora. Rather, he argues for a richer, more multi-dimensional understanding of Jewish history and identity, and reclaims vital political and personal space for those castigated as self-haters by the Jewish establishment.
Mike Marqusee's books include Wicked Messenger: Bob Dylan and the 1960s, Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties, War Minus the Shooting and Anyone but England. He is a regular contributor to the Guardian and writes a fortnightly column for the Indian newspaper The Hindu. He lives in London.