The Fatal Embrace, by Benjamin Ginsberg
In The Fatal Embrace, Benjamin Ginsberg, who teaches political science at Johns Hopkins, chronicles the symbiotic relationship that has often developed between Jews and the rulers of the countries in which they have lived. As a minority group with a long and painful history of religious persecution, Jews have historically sought both physical protection and economic opportunity in their lands of residence. At the same time, ambitious kings and sultans, commissars and presidents, have often found Jews to be useful allies and capable advisers, and have accommodated their presence in exchange for service as administrators, tax collectors, financiers, and even soldiers.
Roving over the past thousand years of history, Ginsberg shows Jews attaining positions of power in every kind of regime: in Fatimid North Africa during the 10th and 11th centuries; in Christian Spain from the 11th to the 15th centuries; throughout the Ottoman empire during the 15th and 16th centuries; in the courts of the Hapsburgs, Bourbons, Orléanists, and Bonapartists during the 19th century; among the Bolshevik leadership, in the Weimar Republic, and in the kitchen cabinet of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 20th.
About the Author
Jay Lefkowitz, a lawyer in New York, served as a senior domestic-policy adviser to President Bush in 2001-2003, and previously as a policy aide to Preisdent George H.W. Bush. He is currently the President’s special envoy for human rights in North Korea.