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.
Suicidal Europe, 1870-1933 traces the development of a belief among Europe's educated classes in an eventual Jewish domination of the West. Revealing the embedded myths about Jewish bankers and Jewish Bolsheviks in European rhetoric and histories, Poliakov demonstrates that the steady rise in anti-Semitism and suspicion of Jews in the late nineteenth century—highlighted by the Dreyfus affair—and its eventual eruption in the rise of the Nazi party in Germany in the 1920s are part of the same thread of fear and hatred that reaches back to the beginning of the first millennium.
Leon Poliakov (1910-97) has written extensively on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. His many books include Harvest of Hate: The Nazi Program for the Destruction of Jews in Europe and Aryan Myth: A History of Racist and Nationalist Ideas in Europe. He helped establish the Centre de Documentation Juive in 1943.
"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 demonstrated how widely and deeply versed he is in his subject."—Economist
"Poliakov has shown that anti-Semitism is no chance phenomenon but an emanation of European culture."—Times Literary Supplement
"A scholarly but eminently readable tracing of the sources and recurring themes of anti-Semitism."—Library Journal