The prescient New York Times writer delivers an urgent wake-up call to all Americans exposing the alarming rise of anti-Semitism in this country—and explains what we can do to defeat it.
“Stunning . . . Bari Weiss is heroic, fearless, brilliant and big-hearted. Most importantly, she is right.”—Lisa Taddeo, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Three Women On October 27, 2018, eleven Jews were gunned down as they prayed at their synagogue in Pittsburgh. It was the deadliest attack on Jews in American history.
For most Americans, the massacre at Tree of Life, the synagogue where Bari Weiss became a bat mitzvah, came as a total shock. But anti-Semitism is the oldest hatred, commonplace across the Middle East and on the rise for years in Europe. So that terrible morning in Pittsburgh raised a question Americans can no longer avoid: Could it happen here?
This book is Weiss’s answer.
Like many, Weiss long believed this country could escape the rising tide of anti-Semitism. But now the luckiest Jews in history are beginning to face a three-headed dragon known all too well to Jews of other times and places: the physical fear of violent assault, the moral fear of ideological vilification, and the political fear of resurgent fascism and populism.
No longer the exclusive province of the far right, the far left, and assorted religious bigots, anti-Semitism now finds a home in identity politics and the reaction against identity politics, in the renewal of America First isolationism and the rise of one-world socialism, and in the spread of Islamist ideas into unlikely places. A hatred that was, until recently, reliably taboo, anti-Semitism is migrating toward the mainstream, amplified by social media and a culture of conspiracy that threatens us all.
Weiss’s cri de coeur is an unnerving reminder that Jews must never lose their hard-won instinct for danger, and a powerful case for renewing Jewish and American values in uncertain times from one of our most provocative writers. Not just for the sake of America’s Jews, but for the sake of America.
Praise for How to Fight Anti-Semitism
“What Heinrich Graetz required six volumes of Jewish history to encompass, Bari Weiss has achieved with remarkable succinctness. This important book will engender a thousand conversations.”—Cynthia Ozick
“Her childhood synagogue in Pittsburgh was the site of last year’s Shabbat morning massacre. This passionate, vividly written, regularly insightful book is her pained, fighting elegy.”—The Guardian
“A bold summons to confront humanity’s oldest hatred.”—National Review
About the Author
Bari Weiss is a staff writer and editor for the opinion section of The New York Times. Weiss was an op-ed and book review editor at The Wall Street Journal before joining the Times in 2017. She has also worked at Tablet, the online magazine of Jewish politics and culture. She is a native of Pittsburgh and lives in New York City.
“Bari Weiss has written what must be judged a brave book. . . . Weiss has delivered a praiseworthy and concise brief against modern-day anti-Semitism.”—The New York Times
“Weiss’s book feels like one long, soul-wrenching letter, written in a charmingly accessible style by a proud American reeling from the realization that the haters are on the rise in this land we love.”—Jewish Journal
“Weiss’s refreshingly forthright opinions and remarkably thorough yet concise history lessons make this a must-read for anyone seeking to understand and stop the rise of a pernicious ideology.”—Publishers Weekly “An important read . . . Because a battle over normalizing anti-Semitism is already underway, Weiss’s real public service is encouraging mainstream Americans to join the forces of light.”—The Federalist
“At the core of the text is the author’s concern for the health and safety of American citizens, and she encourages anyone ‘who loves freedom and seeks to protect it’ to join with her in vigorous activism.”—Kirkus Reviews
“How to Fight Anti-Semitism is violently stunning. It broke my heart—and then made me want to repair someone else’s. In these pages and everywhere else, Bari Weiss is heroic, fearless, brilliant, and great-hearted. Most important, she is right.”—Lisa Taddeo, bestselling author of Three Women
“This is the most important book you will read this year. Concise, morally certain, it’s a bullet train from the first sentence to the last. There needs to be a copy in every classroom in the country. If you think something dark is rising, you’re right. What can you do? This is what you do.”—Caitlin Flanagan, staff writer, The Atlantic, and author of To Hell with All That
“How to Fight Anti-Semitism is urgent, frank, and fearless. There is something here to offend everyone—because there is something here to awaken everyone.”—Rabbi David Wolpe, author of David: The Divided Heart
“While European anti-Semitism has put Jews in mortal danger for too long, the ‘shining city upon a hill’—America—has descended into this same toxic darkness. Bari Weiss’s book is a powerful wake-up call against complacency and should push all freethinkers on both sides of the Atlantic to take a stand against new guises of the oldest form of hate in the world. How to Fight Anti-Semitism? Yes. But it could also be called How to Save Liberal Democracy.’”—Bernard-Henri Lévy, bestselling author of The Empire and the Five Kings
“They said ‘Never again,’ yet here we are again. Bari Weiss’s neat exposition of modern anti-Semitism traces this hate to what I call ‘the triple threat’: the far left, the far right, and Islamist theocrats. Jews are the canary in the coal mine. And if our Jewish friends are raising the alarm, we’d all better hear them, before it’s too late.”—Maajid Nawaz, activist, writer, and broadcaster