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Jewish Leftist Activism in Children’s Fiction

Author Leslea Newman displays her children's book 'Heather Has Two Mommies.' PHOTO: USA Today/Steven Senne/AP

By Andrew Joyce, Ph.D. | 6 January 2018

“From the very beginning—that is, from the publication of the first book specifically for children — the intent was to mold and shape the mind to accepted standards of behavior.” Saul Braun, The New York Times, June 7, 1970.

OCCIDENTAL OBSERVER — This article is the product of research originally conducted for a recent article titled “Jews, Obscenity, and the Legal System.” Given the significant amount of material discovered and the uniqueness of the subject matter, I decided there was enough material for an article devoted to children’s literature. During research for the obscenity essay, I consulted the American Library Association’s list of “Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000–2009” with a view to assessing the nature and extent of the Jewish presence. The first fact to become apparent was a marked Jewish over-representation in the production of books deemed controversial or perverse by parents, schools, and other institutions. Jews are notoriously shy of the census, but are probably somewhere between the 2.2% of the U.S. population suggested by the Pew Research Center and a maximum of around 5%. Even accepting a grain of truth in the apologetic argument that Jews are disproportionately attracted to literary professions (to say nothing about motive), one might very generously expect a Jewish representation of around 10 books on the ALA’s list.

However, my biographical checks on all authors on the list, some of which were indeterminate, revealed that 22 books on the ALA’s list were penned by 17 Jewish writers.[1] Jews are thus significantly over-represented in producing contemporary literature deemed oppositional by the surrounding culture, and are even more radically over-represented when older, White-authored, entries such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (now often opposed as ‘racist’) are taken out of consideration. Since the majority of entries on the list were children’s books, and taking into account my previous discoveries concerning Jewish manipulation of demand for ‘diverse books’ in the school system, it occurred to me that children’s literature is an important, but sometimes neglected, front in the cultural conflict we see played out daily. This article is therefore intended as a brief introduction to some of the most pertinent personalities and themes in the area of Jewish Leftist activism in children’s fiction.

A great deal of Jewish radical activism in the cultural sphere comes under the umbrella of the general relationship between Jews and the Left. This relationship can historically be understood as involving Jewish innovation of, or support for, social, cultural, and political causes likely to weaken the cultural structures of the host society and make it more amenable to Jewish interests. In the chapter titled “Jews and the Left” in The Culture of Critique (p. 50 )Kevin MacDonald cites Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter, who remarked in their Roots of Radicalism: Jews, Christians, and the New Left (1982): “Whatever their situation … in almost every country about which we have information, a segment of the Jewish community played a very vital role in movements designed to undermine the existing order.” MacDonald argues that superficial divergences between Jewish religion and radical agendas are negated by the fact many ethnically Jewish radicals have persisted in adhering to a strong Jewish identity, and have often explicitly pursued Jewish interests. MacDonald writes (p. 51): “The hypothesis that Jewish radicalism is compatible with Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy implies that radical Jews continue to identify as Jews.” […]

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