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Novel Tease

Random meanderings about the books I love—or don't. 

Interspersed with observations about my hobbies: Beer & Wine, Bridge, Bikes and Bow-wows.

Currently reading

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
Pontypool Changes Everything
Tony Burgess

Concerning the Jews

Concerning the Jews - Mark Twain I downloaded the complete Mark Twain from Project Gutenberg today, and my eye was caught by this essay (from Harper's Magazine, March 1898).

It's stunning how timelessly he writes, and this piece should still be considered required reading. I'm only sorry that I believe he's not entirely correct:

Point No. 5.—'Will the per­se­cu­tion of the Jews ever come to an end?'
On the score of re­li­gion, I think it has al­ready come to an end. On the score of race prej­u­dice and trade, I have the idea that it will con­tinue.

Twain's argument is that anti-Semitism has always been based on envy of the Jews business acumen (a generalization that he is entirely aware is such, but for which he makes a good case). Unfortunately, purely religious hatred continually flares, and those who hate Jews for their religion are more than happy to use others' envy to forward their own ends.

It's particular pleasing to see such a balanced and clearly unprejudiced article from the man who's been called a racist, and had his books banned, purely because characters use the language of the time and refer to "niggers".