Covering the story of prejudice against Jews from the time of Christ through the rise of Nazi Germany, The History of Anti-Semitism presents in elegant and thoughtful language a balanced, careful assessment of this egregious human failing that is nearly ubiquitous in the history of Europe.
From Mohammed to the Marranos focuses on the Sephardim, the Jews of North Africa and Iberia. Poliakov relates the great achievements of Spanish Jewry under the Muslim Caliphs followed by their gradual and painful decline during and after the Christian reconquest. The author explains the emergence of the Marrano culture, Jews who converted to Christianity, and the dispersion of those Jews who refused to convert in the face of expulsion and death.
"Poliakov has demonstrated brilliantly how widely and deeply versed he is in his subject."—Economist
"Highly recommended without exception."—Choice
"Léon Poliakov's work on antisemitism is of enormous importance. As a work of scholarship it is almost without peer. One could have imagined that Poliakov's study might have given a long overdue burial to the longest hatred. Sadly-tragically-it has taken on a new urgency in our time as the images and issues have been resurrected at the beginning of the twenty-first century."—Michael Berenbaum, Director, Sigi Ziering Institute
"Poliakov has shown that anti-Semitism is no chance phenomenon but an emanation of European culture."—Times Literary Supplement