Covering the story of prejudice against Jews from the time of Christ through the rise of Nazi Germany, The History of Anti-Semitism presents in elegant and thoughtful language a balanced, careful assessment of this egregious human failing that is nearly ubiquitous in the history of Europe. From Mohammed to the Marras focuses on the Sephardim, the Jews of North Africa and Iberia. Poliakov relates the great achievements of Spanish Jewry under the Muslim Caliphs followed by their gradual and painful decline during and after the Christian reconquest. The author explains the emergence of the Marra culture, Jews who converted to Christianity, and the dispersion of those Jews who refused to convert in the face of expulsion and death.
Leon Poliakov (1910-97) wrote extensively on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. His many books include Harvest of Hate: The Nazi Program for the Destruction of Jews in Europe and Aryan Myth: A History of Racist and Nationalist Ideas in Europe. He helped establish the Centre de Documentation Juive in 1943.