A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution

by Richard S. Levy, Editor
Dean Phillip Bell, William Collins Donahue, Kevin Madigan, Jonathan Morse, Amy Hill Shevitz, and Norman A. Stillman, Associate Editors


Antisemitism has informed the theory and practice of politics and has permeated cultures around the world. The line between anti-Jewish sentiment and other kinds of conflict is hard to define, but it is clear that the destructive nature of antisemitism has harmed the human community for two millennia.

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Cover image for Antisemitism

May 2005


Pages 828
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics World History/Race and Ethnicity
  • Award Winner!




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Written by top scholars in an accessible manner, this unique encyclopedia offers worldwide coverage of the origins, forms, practitioners, and effects of antisemitism, leading to the Holocaust and surviving to the present day.

The word "antisemite" was first used to describe a politically motivated enemy of the Jews in 1879. The subject of antisemitism has often been focused on the Holocaust; however, current events and history have much to add to this discussion. For example, in 1995 a Japanese pseudo-Buddhist religious cult, imagining itself to be under attack by Jews, released sarin gas on the Tokyo subway, killing 12. From 1881 to 1900 there were 128 public accusations of Jewish "ritual murder" allegedly involving the killing of Christian children to use their blood for religious purposes.

Entries in this encyclopedia span the period from ancient Egypt to the modern era. Key theoreticians of Jew-hatred and their written works, its permeation of Christianity and modern Islam, and its political, artistic, and economic manifestations are covered. This is the first comprehensive work that deals with the entire history of ideas and practices that engendered the Holocaust.


  • 650 A–Z entries by over 200 scholars from 21 countries
  • Illustrations such as caricatures, political cartoons, maps, and pictures of famous antisemites and historical episodes
  • Citations of recent literature that follow each entry
  • Detailed index listing people, places, concepts, and events that enables users to find information about subjects not treated in dedicated articles
  • Direction at the end of each entry to other articles with special relevance to the topic


  • The only encyclopedia that brings current expertise to bear on over two millennia of anti-Jewish hostility
  • Worldwide coverage of antisemitism that treats an emotionally charged subject with objectivity
  • Special attention to the role of antisemitism in Christianity and Islam
Author Info

Richard S. Levy, PhD, is associate professor of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL. He is the author of The Downfall of the Anti-Semitic Political Parties in Imperial Germany and editor of Antisemitism in the Modern World: An Anthology of Texts.



"This encyclopedia is groundbreaking, its most notable merits being the presentation of accurate and up-to-date information in an unbiased manner. The volumes . . . should be a necessary tool for journalists, politicians, and all people interested in understanding antisemitism."Searchlight

"This well-written and thoroughly researched encyclopedia should become the standard reference source in the field."American Reference Books Annual


2005 Best Reference Title — Library Journal

2005 Outstanding Academic Title — CHOICE

2005 Editors' Choice — Booklist

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