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  • People Love Dead Jews

  • Reports from a Haunted Present
  • By: Dara Horn
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

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People Love Dead Jews

By: Dara Horn
Narrated by: Xe Sands
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Summary

A startling and profound exploration of how Jewish history is exploited to comfort the living.

Renowned and beloved as a prizewinning novelist, Dara Horn has also been publishing penetrating essays since she was a teenager. Often asked by major publications to write on subjects related to Jewish culture - and increasingly in response to a recent wave of deadly anti-Semitic attacks - Horn was troubled to realize what all of these assignments had in common: She was being asked to write about dead Jews, never about living ones. In these essays, Horn reflects on subjects as far-flung as the international veneration of Anne Frank, the mythology that Jewish family names were changed at Ellis Island, the blockbuster traveling exhibition Auschwitz, the marketing of the Jewish history of Harbin, China, and the little-known life of the "righteous Gentile" Varian Fry. Throughout, she challenges us to confront the reasons why there might be so much fascination with Jewish deaths, and so little respect for Jewish lives unfolding in the present.

Horn draws upon her travels, her research, and also her own family life - trying to explain Shakespeare’s Shylock to a curious 10-year-old, her anger when swastikas are drawn on desks in her children’s school, the profound perspective offered by traditional religious practice and study - to assert the vitality, complexity, and depth of Jewish life against an anti-Semitism that, far from being disarmed by the mantra of "Never forget", is on the rise. As Horn explores the (not so) shocking attacks on the American Jewish community in recent years, she reveals the subtler dehumanization built into the public piety that surrounds the Jewish past - making the radical argument that the benign reverence we give to past horrors is itself a profound affront to human dignity.

©2021 Dara Horn (P)2021 Recorded Books

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What listeners say about People Love Dead Jews

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Wide ranging, thoughtful expose of current attitudes

This is a well researched book that struck an incredibly strong chord with me. Having listened to Dara Horn's podcast I wasn't sure there's be a lot of new information in the audiobook but it was much more thorough and the chapters on The Merchant of Venice and Daf Yomi were excellent

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Depressing and well written

At first, this seemed paranoid, seeing anti-Semitism everywhere. Then I realised that it's accurate and well put together. The presentation in a sarcastic voice was flawless.

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Beautifully written and read

A fascinating book that really made me think. So much new information that I didn’t know, new insights to consider and a deep underlying sadness. It was also read with great tenderness and care. Highly recommend.

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required reading

I will be setting this for my students. should be required reading for everyone pretty much the world over, not least here in the UK.

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Insight upon insight

So much to absorb in this audio book. I discovered aspects of Jewish History hitherto unknown.
Insights into Ongoing Soviet anti semitism highly relevant.

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Poignant and unforgettable

Just finished listening and want to start again - there are so many important observations in this book which should be obvious but one doesn’t think about them until the author points them out!

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Very accessible along with brilliant writing

I have a feeling that most readers/listeners of this book will be Jewish, which is a shame. Dara Horn writes with emotion and empathy along with breathtaking intellect and detailed research.

This book analysing this minute minority, who have suffered excessively in every century over millennia, but still survived and thrived should be on every inquisitive reader’s must-read list.

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Painful reality, with a large splash of bitters.

Frankly, I am Jewish. The observations of the author are painfully obvious to any jew who has had their family members murdered...which is all of us.

I am not sure the irony and bitterness of being marketed by non-jews after the fact, will be comprehensible, to many non-jews.

What do I mean by this? I travel extensively and see either well meaning non-jews, or people capitalizing on my deceased ancestors and coreligionists, in country after country.

Then I see and experience ongoing anti-semitism.

For me, it's just what people do.

This effort is a worthwhile read. It's written in an approachable style. I hope I am wrong and that the general readership understand and internalize the message.

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informative and beautifully written

I learnt an awful lot about things, some of which I didn't even know the basics of before listening to this audio book, yet also listened to the author masterfully articulate emotions and situations that were highly relatable and evermore important in today's growing antisemitism.

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Honest and unflinching

In People Love Dead Jews, Ms Horn expertly lays out the facts for the unwavering lessons of The Holocaust versus the unrelenting anti-Semitism Jews are expected to tolerate today. That most of this Jew hating is disguised as anti-Zionist propaganda seems to give it a layer of respectability. As if hating Jews in the UK and US, (to name a few) is a reasonable reaction to another government's actions. It's exhausting and draining and, despite Ms Horn's excellent and sensitive observations, I don't believe things will change. I can however thank her and applaud her from the bottom of my heart for standing up for the Jewish community. A remarkable, well researched and considerate book.

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3 people found this helpful