by Will Eisner, Umberto Eco
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This book is about the development of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and the spiritual poison it has spread throughout the world. Written in graphic novel form, the book takes a unique approach to informing people about how this anti-semetic work came about. It is Will Eisner's final work before he passed away, and one of the most informative and interesting reads I have had in a long time.
The book starts out in French Author's Maurice Joly's home, after he has killed himself. You learn that he had written a story that is written to incite an uprising against Emperor Napoleon III called The Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquie. Later in history, Mathieu Golivinski, a man known for his talent for forging and plagiarizing court documents is asked to plagiarize Joly's work into an anti-semetic rant called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and make it look like a document showing the Jewish plot to take over the world. The purpose of this is to keep Czar Alexander III from listening to the jews which the secret police find too progressive. The book is published and gets spread worldwide. In spite of being proved to be a forgery by The Times of London in the 1920's and later being pronounced a hoax by the U.S. Congress, the book continues to this day to incite hatred for jews from various groups looking for somebody to blame.
The most informative part of this book is a section where the author shows side by side comparisons between 'The Protocols' and Joly's work. Unfortunately, it is also the most boring. However, even though I skimmed through that part, I came away with a greater knowledge of the Protocols and the kind of damaging influence it has had on modern culture and even some of the people we consider to be modern history's heroes.
I recommend this book for reading, but remain hesitant to say it is worth buying. The side by side comparison in the middle of the book is a real drag. However, the illustrations are beautiful, and a real testament to the work of the late Mr. Eisner. Overall, I'll give it 3 out of 4 stars.