HERE is a book which caste aside all prejudice, and with authority, real learning and research, gives us a picture of the Jews as a people, especially in their relations to this country. When the World is seething with uncritical anti-Judaism and equally impassioned and uncritical apologies for the Jew, we are in need of a calm, dispassionate and authoritative review of the Jewish question as it affects us in England. It can safely be said that until the appearance of this volume no such work was in existence in the English language. The conference on the settlement of Jewish refugees at Evian is no mere academic matter. It is a burning question affecting, by the numbers of exiles we receive into this country, the very growth of our national character as well as the immediate employment of our own countrymen. We cannot assume an attitude of censure or approval toward the countries where anti-Semitism and racial distinction are officially recognised until we have knowledge and authority for our yardstick. Bitterness is being aroused on both aides, but knowledge and authoritative judgment are not heard.
The author is widely learned in his subject: he is able to give an objective account on which to form a judgment. He has gone in to the origins of the Jews and traced the persistent common factors in their character from pre-Christian days until now. He shows that by ridiculing the much-abused Word “race” you cannot dispose of the Jew as a persistent ethnic and psychological type. He assesses their qualities as fairly as their defects from the Gentile point of view. He weighs the evidence of their activities throughout England and Europe. He does not burke the problems of diluted blood either in Jew or Gentile. In particular he traces the influence of the Jews upon our national institutions and customs in recent history. He shows us how so many things have changed before our eyes without our knowing it. In this sense the book is as important for knowledge of ourselves as it is for a true assessment of the Jews.
No man who wishes to arrive at an honest understanding of this all-important question can afford to disregard this volume.