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    Description

    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

    Ce que les auditeurs disent de People Love Dead Jews

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • BK
    • 25/09/2021

    Powerful and smart

    Absolutely scalding. Stated in the simplest terms, Horn argues that people love Jews who are dead -- killed by pogroms, in the camps, in attacks on American streets -- but live Jews not so much. She demonstrates her point by looking critically at how dead Jews are memorialized, how the media covers antisemitic acts in ways different from other hate crimes, how scholars have successfully whitewashed the vicious antisemitism of "The Merchant of Venice" (Horn has a PhD in English so she is definitely qualified to speak), myths about name-changing on Ellis Island, and a good deal more. Her travels in laying all this out take us from New Jersey to Amsterdam, Syria to China, and numerous places in between.

    There's no way I can summarize the book without making it sound dry or polemical. It's not. Horn's voice is engaging and welcoming (so too is the astonishingly good job of reader Xe Sands -- wow!), and reading the book is like spending several evenings -- spread out over time, of course -- with a smart friend who knows a lot about a lot of things, is gifted in her ability to (warmly) share what she knows, has a good sense of humor, is brutally honest, and who is really angry.

    A remarkable book. And again, I can't say enough to praise how good Xe Sands is in her narration. Listening to the book might have prevented me from taking notes and underlining passages, but her reading more than compensates.

    5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Marie
    • 04/12/2021

    Good book- good/bad title

    There are so many good things about this book, the title is not one of them.
    First the performance by the narrator is top notch. The inflections and pace are great. She does a wonderful job.
    The title. Let's talk about that. The title is the point, but it is so raw when I want to recommend it to a co-worker, I need to buffer the title with a long disclaimer. The point is that the general public of well meaning gentiles love Jews when something horrid has happened. Live Jews (now I'm remembering 2 Live Jews- hip hop) yeah, people are a little less interested. Fair. And that's the theme of the book.
    What did I love about the book? So much, I will try to tackle most of them.
    I'm a practicing Catholic and I felt a connection to the author when she talked about visiting China and visiting a synagogue that was no longer an operating one, because most of the Jews of the town were forced to flee or were killed. She was illustrating how well preserved/ reconstructed it was because the space invoked familiar feelings of asking how late she was for the service and the physical ritual muscle memory that kicks in when in such a space.
    Another topic was on antisemetism... okay not another topic, it is the main topic, but in one essay, she pairs it to Purim and Hanukkah. One, Purim represented pure let's kill the Jews. The other Hanukkah represented we like Jews as long as they are not Jewish.
    Something that will require more thought is all the Holocaust memorials that were all the rage in the 1990s. I worked at one of those places. Do they help make it so this will never happen again? Well it keeps happening, to Jews and others. Jews keep getting attacked and killed. Which takes us back to the title.
    Lastly, she tackles the Merchant of Venice. She makes a great argument and I am willing to concede that it is an antisemitic piece. But it doesn't make me think of Shakespeare any less. He was who he was and Elizabethan England was not a Jew friendly place and never will be. It is what it is.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
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    • David O
    • 19/11/2021

    remarkable book about how dead Jews are not new

    This book by Dara Horn, whom I'd not read before, is amazing: startling, eye-opening, and smart. It is written beautifully (and the Audible version is read brilliantly) with impressive background research that bolsters Horn's thesis that killing Jews, while being newsworthy in recent days/years, is truly nothing new. She writes with insight and a wicked sense of humor (yes humor!) about this horrific observation. I suspect that the book will be appreciated more by Jews than gentiles, but I hope I'm wrong.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Alan Bernstein
    • 17/11/2021

    Incredibly smart, provocative work with subpar narration

    This is a stirring piece of work for readers of any or no religion because of the way it challenges conventional wisdom and the more sclerotic pathways of history. I find the narrator’s voice slurry and croaky to the point of having to rewind now and then to figure out what the three words were that sounding like one.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Amazon Customer
    • 14/10/2021

    Magnificent

    Thought provoking, tragic, funny and beautiful written. I recommend this for anyone struggling with faith.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Amazon Customer
    • 21/01/2022

    Interesting insights

    Thesis of anti Semitism & our different responses interesting, but I’m not convinced we are currently in denial. As a second generation Jew from immigrant grandparents, in the racist & anti Semitic South, I’ve always been aware of dealing with dangerous antiSemitic acts. But there also has been a lot of progress in my lifetime. I’m more worried about assimilation re: Jewish future, re: not being attached Jewishly, and rates of addiction & suicide, which are increasingly high of Jews among Caucasian population.

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
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      2 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • SN Rubin
    • 15/01/2022

    Great book, audio misses on pronunciations

    The story is great. Horn weaves a view of contemporary Jewish experience through history and literature that strikes a deep chord within me. Aha! moments come. One after the other.

    I’m disappointed by the reading. Given everything that is in this book it is ironic — and not in a good way — that the audiobook narrator mispronounced so many names and words throughout.

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • dwd
    • 06/01/2022

    Lovely reading, but

    they really should have chosen a narrator familiar with Hebrew pronunciation. There are some real clunkers here: 'Chava' (pronounced kh, as in Bach, or Chanukah) rendered as 'CHava' as in 'cherry' or 'chair'. Oy. Lots of those, and it really harms the reading.

    It's a beautiful work, otherwise.

    • Global
      1 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      1 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • MYK
    • 04/01/2022

    Wrong Narrator for this Book

    WRONG narrator. Right book. At least I think it's the right book because I could only get through maybe half an hour until I just could not justify continuing. Firstly, she sounds so somber while the real author (whom I've heard in interviews and podcasts) is upbeat and informal. But the MOST egregious thing is how many mispronunciations there are with Jewish and Hebrew words, and um, certain names, such as a very famous Holocaust survivor/author/Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel whose last name the narrator pronounced as "weasel!" This is shameful! The correct pronunciation can be found anywhere - just google it. I was willing to let the previous errors slide, like the important holiday of "Simchat Torah" being pronounced as "Sim-Cat" Torah. When I heard the third "weasel" in a row, I could not take it anymore and shut it off. I will be purchasing the hard copy book because I very much want to read the text. It is shocking that the audio producers neglected to approve of a narrator who has BASIC knowledge of anything related to the subject of this book! People really DO love dead Jews if they can't even hire one to narrate a book about one!

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      3 out of 5 stars
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    • S.E.B.
    • 20/12/2021

    Disappointed

    Equates anti-Zionism with anti-semitism. Ignoring the fact that Israeli government politics and behavior are not always perfect and there are legitimate reasons to be "against" Israeli policies sometimes.

    OTOH, lots of good information, insight, history, and understanding of anti-semitism and Jewish life.

    Worth reading with caveats.