cover image (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump

(((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump

Jonathan Weisman. St. Martin’s, $24.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-250169-93-8

Weisman (No. 4 Imperial Lane), the New York Times’ deputy Washington editor, offers a chilling look at resurgent anti-Semitism in America in the wake of Donald Trump’s political ascendancy. Despite feeling only minimally connected to his Jewish heritage, Weisman found himself the target of “alt-right” Trump supporters in 2016 after tweeting an excerpt from an editorial about the rise of fascist tendencies in the U.S.; within minutes, he received a response addressed to “(((Weisman))),” punctuation that he learned was “wrapped around Jewish-sounding names on social media” by online harassers. That response was the precursor to a torrent of online hate he received, which shook Weisman out of his complacency and forced him to face the reality of persistent anti-Jewish bias. He provides a thoughtful and deeply personal account of his struggle to understand what was happening. The hostility Weisman encountered was so overwhelming that his daughter sought reassurance that she didn’t “look Jewish,” which she feared would put her at risk of being targeted as well. Despite that close-to-home evidence of the effectiveness of the bigots, Weisman concludes forcefully, leaving readers with the message that the best way for Jewish Americans to resist bigotry is to champion “liberal internationalism in the oldest, least partisan sense of that phrase.” [em]Agent: Rayhane Sanders, Massie & McQuilkin. (Mar.) [/em]