Reading Group Guide
1. Early on, the authors state that they have rewritten this book "in order to counteract the dejudaization of Jew-hatred." How do they accomplish this? In what ways do they prove this "dejudaization," and how do they counteract it? Is this counteracting a matter of defining the problem, of offering solutions, or both?
2. What were your thoughts about the roots and nature of antisemitism before reading the book? Did those thoughts change at all, and if so, how? Which arguments -- historic or current -- had the greatest impact on your understanding of the situation?
3. Prager and Telushkin write: "Economic depressions do not explain gas chambers." Explain what they mean by this, in a larger sense. Do you agree entirely? How does the book generally deal with the relationship of cause and effect? In what other global conflicts have transparent rationalizations been offered for abhorrent behavior?
4. Discuss the idea of "non-Jewish Jews." How are these Jews defined, and what is their role in the history of antisemitism? Do the authors believe non-Jewish Jews have helped to ease or exacerbate the effects of Jew-hatred? Why?
5. Voltaire, Luther and Chaucer, among others, are shown to be antisemitic. How surprising is it that these figures -- celebrated through time for the achievements of their minds -- would harbor such deep feelings of intolerance? Or, as the authors put it, "How could the rational and tolerant Voltaire be so ir