© 2019

A Rumor about the Jews

Conspiracy, Anti-Semitism, and the Protocols of Zion


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Stephen Eric Bronner
    Pages 1-8
  3. Stephen Eric Bronner
    Pages 57-82
  4. Stephen Eric Bronner
    Pages 83-109
  5. Stephen Eric Bronner
    Pages 111-125
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 147-162

About this book


“A coherent treatment of a complex issue and its most significant secular document...Bronner may have written the best short book on anti-Semitism.”
Kirkus Reviews

“In his scholarly yet highly readable account of the history of this infamous work, Stephen Eric Bronner does a great service not only to those who fight against anti-Semitism, but those who fight against contemporary political fanaticism…”
Jewish Currents

“A fascinating, readable, and most worthwhile addition to the literature.”

“[A Rumor About the Jews] places The Protocols of the Elders of Zion within a broader framework, arguing effectively that acceptance of the notorious forgery had as much to do with reactions against liberalism and democracy as it did with anti-Semitism...this book makes an original and valuable contribution to the literature.”
John A. DrobnickiLibrary Journal

In its portrayal of Judaism as a worldwide conspiracy dedicated to the destruction of Christian civilization, the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion remains one of the most infamous documents ever written. Despite being proven a crude forgery, the pamphlet managed to pervade twentieth-century thinking, often being twisted to suit its handlers' purposes, and to justify the most extreme persecution of the Jews. In A Rumor About the Jews, Stephen Eric Bronner provides a history of this notorious fabrication—one which has renewed salience in a “post truth” society dominated by “fake news"—and explores its influence on right-wing movements throughout the twentieth century and the ongoing appeal of bigotry. This new edition of Bronner's 2000 classic (described by Kirkus as "the best short book on anti-Semitism") expands the arguments of the first edition, bringing the work up to date in a new political context.


Anti-Semitism Bigotry Conspiracy Hitler Propaganda Nazism Inter-War Period World War II fake news post truth The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceRutgers UniversityNew Brunswick, NJUSA

About the authors

Stephen Eric Bronner is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Director of Global Relations at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights (CGHR), and on Executive Committee of the UNESCO Chair for Genocide Prevention at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

Bibliographic information


“A timely and important document for such a time as this. Bronner’s work is focused on the political with a strong interest in the historical, the cultural, and the religious. … From a Religious Studies perspective, Bronner’s analysis of the future of organized religion is important to consider.” (Michael Gillingham, Reading Religion, June 26, 2019)

From the reviews of the first edition:

“A coherent treatment of a complex issue and its most significant secular document. ... Bronner may have written the best short book on anti-Semitism.” (Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2000)