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  • By Ronene Veria
    Jan 17, 2014
    What poses (and indeed may have originally been intended) as a light-hearted philosophical critique of the modern age is really a screed about very old grievances- both personal and political. Right off the bat, there is a section on world religions that commences with a light-hearted premise about ethnic quirks to draw in the reader and then quickly veers off into WWII(and earlier) era ugly tropes. "God had always taken special care of the Hebrews, who, owing to some problems with their tax returns, would later have to rename themselves simply 'the Jews'.....not content with the ten commandments, the philosopher and goldsmith Maimonides made a list of 613 more commandments which he found in the Jewish Bible that hadn't seen the light of day in decades...Everyone figured that enough was enough...The Jewish folk decided to ease off on all the religious stuff...and concentrate on what they really liked to do best: establish a profitable schemata business.....Judaism has few... More > essential beliefs: get it wholesale, guilt the kids, never mind the quality, feel the width, cut velvet, and want to get ahead, get a hat"...Jewish beliefs vary widely on theological matters such as interest bearing accounts, IRAs, and Safe Deposit boxes." The devolution of British (the author's homeland) society is chronicled thus: "You may recall the mention of a certain wealthy investor named 'Rothschild.'...The Rothschilds are one of many banking houses that have been instrumental in establishing banking as part and parcel of the ruling classes..." Descriptions of empires waxing and waning continues with the amusing comment, "...ancient Israel was predominantly Jewish, until the Jewish-Roman wars, which were a no-brainer since the Romans had weapons of mass destruction and the Jews had only matzoh balls". Bad taste creeps in again, as he continues: "After this the Jews became a minority in most regions, except Galillee and Palm Beach...1948 triggered massive migrations of Jews to Israel, and now all but three of them live in NYC and Florida." The unseemliness of the latter comments is really contextualized by the poor judgment (of both the author and his publisher, both fixtures on the otherwise lovely island Nantucket) by their initial reductive caricature of Jews that says a lot more about them than it could ever say about a whole race of people. They display ugly prejudices of a certain type of cranky ethnically homogenous old man whose brethren hail from crumbling empires.< Less
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Product Details

First Edition
Essex Press
June 18, 2013
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.78 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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