Jews Don't Count
Title: Jews Don’t Count
Author: David Baddiel
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Difficulty: Mild Pages: 144
Always spoiler free
My mother and I decided to create our own personal book club, where we would share and chat about books. This was her first choice. I don’t like non-fiction books, so it isn’t something that I would normally gravitate towards.
But am I glad I read it?
The book is by Baddiel, a known UK comic, and is his take/experience/thoughts/anger about antisemitism in the UK, especially in the progressive left.
It’s a book about the hierarchy of racism. It’s a book about antisemitism. It’s a book that makes you take a hard look at your own preconceived notions of race and racism.
Is it a thought-provoking read?
Did I enjoy reading it?
I studied antisemitism and Islamophobia at university, especially in my Masters. I chose to focus a lot of my studies on Islamophobia at the time, but essentially it means that the foundation of my knowledge about these topics is routed in an academic perspective. This means I’m used to reading very academic texts about the topic.
My complaint to my mother was that I felt Baddiel’s writing style was neither here nor there. It wasn’t academic enough for me, or on the flip side ‘personal’ enough for me – it fell right into the middle and it made me feel a bit meh. Essentially, it wasn’t structured enough for me and I felt that it drifted from point to point.
My mother disagreed. You may do as well.
I honestly feel that if this had been a group of short essays, which were centred around a certain point, or experience, I would have enjoyed reading it more. I definitely wanted more structure. My mother suggested that the intended audience wouldn’t appreciate essays, but I think she’s undervaluing the younger generations.
However, I think this is an essential read. It certainly forced me to question my own assumptions and understanding about the pervasive and systemic racism (what is also called institutionalised racism) that exists in the UK, and in our political system – even within our ‘progressive’ left. I know institutionalised racism exists, but sometimes you need someone to grab you and say ‘you only think you know – but you’ve never had to experience it first-hand. Wake up and see what is really happening and how it is affecting real people around you.’ The book isn’t necessarily a call to arms, but it is asking you to question what you understand about antisemitism and its place in the UK today.
Well Red Reviews
Would I recommend this book? Definitely! An important read.