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HISTORIAN, sailor, poet, theologian, novelist, travel writer and fierce campaigner for social justice, Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) was all of these things and more. As one of the most outspoken figures of his time, Belloc's name will always be inextricably bound up with controversy and here, in Troy Southgate's forthright and challenging book, the author sets out to examine Belloc's contentious thoughts on the Jewish Question, which, in the first quarter of the twentieth century, was becoming increasingly pertinent. Beginning with an examination of Belloc's own Anglo-French background, the book continues with a detailed look at the history of the Jews in England and the rise of the infamous Rothschild family. The remarks Belloc made about Jews in his first three novels and earliest political journalism are also explored, with the bulk of his opinions on World Jewry appearing in the 1922 work, The Jews. Elsewhere, the author studies the wider ramifications of Belloc's thoughts in some depth and capably demonstrates that many of his concerns have since come true. The final section of the book examines whether the accusations of "Anti-Semitism" that have often been laid at Belloc's door can actually be substantiated and the text also contains two fascinating appendices, one dealing with the theory that most Jews are descended from the Khazarian Empire and the other focussing on the global impact of the Rothschild banking network. With extensive footnotes and a useful bibliography, this book will go a long way towards identifying the innumerable problems that have existed between Jews and Europeans for many centuries. In many ways, Belloc - who has been labelled a 'Jew-baiter' - was actually motivated by a genuine and heartfelt desire to end the mutual antipathy that exists between our respective peoples. Indeed, whilst this work will certainly appeal to critics of Zionism and international finance it will also be of interest to readers who are looking for a sane and rational solution that can benefit those on both sides of the proverbial fence.
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