cover image Chutzpah


Alan M. Dershowitz. Little, Brown and Company Inc, $22.95 (378pp) ISBN 978-0-316-18137-2

If a trifle long-winded, Dershowitz's ( Reversal of Fortune ) audacious, perspicacious, anecdotal, carefully documented book should increase his following among Jewish and non-Jewish readers alike. The gadfly civil libertarian here challenges his fellow Jews: ``The time has come for us to shed our self-imposed second-class status, drop our defensiveness, and rid ourselves of our pathological fear of offending our `hosts,' '' the U.S. Dershowitz discusses how he himself gradually became less ritually observant but more active in Jewish political issues. He excoriates left-wing anti-Zionism; linguist Noam Chomsky's defense of a neo-Nazi Holocaust-denier; what he sees as the spinelessness of certain American Jewish leaders; and Harvard's history of discrimination against Jews. The ``Jewishness'' of Jonathan Pollard, the U.S. intelligence analyst who was arrested in 1985 for espionage and given life imprisonment, and the fact that he spied for the Jewish state, the author maintains, are the most important factors explaining Pollard's ``draconian'' sentence. Author tour. (June)