1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $20.99

Buy for $20.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A startling and profound exploration of how Jewish history is exploited to comfort the living.

Renowned and beloved as a prizewinning novelist, Dara Horn has also been publishing penetrating essays since she was a teenager. Often asked by major publications to write on subjects related to Jewish culture - and increasingly in response to a recent wave of deadly anti-Semitic attacks - Horn was troubled to realize what all of these assignments had in common: She was being asked to write about dead Jews, never about living ones. In these essays, Horn reflects on subjects as far-flung as the international veneration of Anne Frank, the mythology that Jewish family names were changed at Ellis Island, the blockbuster traveling exhibition Auschwitz, the marketing of the Jewish history of Harbin, China, and the little-known life of the "righteous Gentile" Varian Fry. Throughout, she challenges us to confront the reasons why there might be so much fascination with Jewish deaths, and so little respect for Jewish lives unfolding in the present.

Horn draws upon her travels, her research, and also her own family life - trying to explain Shakespeare’s Shylock to a curious 10-year-old, her anger when swastikas are drawn on desks in her children’s school, the profound perspective offered by traditional religious practice and study - to assert the vitality, complexity, and depth of Jewish life against an anti-Semitism that, far from being disarmed by the mantra of "Never forget", is on the rise. As Horn explores the (not so) shocking attacks on the American Jewish community in recent years, she reveals the subtler dehumanization built into the public piety that surrounds the Jewish past - making the radical argument that the benign reverence we give to past horrors is itself a profound affront to human dignity.

©2021 Dara Horn (P)2021 Recorded Books

What listeners say about People Love Dead Jews

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    250
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    218
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    224
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • BK
  • 09-25-21

Powerful and smart

Absolutely scalding. Stated in the simplest terms, Horn argues that people love Jews who are dead -- killed by pogroms, in the camps, in attacks on American streets -- but live Jews not so much. She demonstrates her point by looking critically at how dead Jews are memorialized, how the media covers antisemitic acts in ways different from other hate crimes, how scholars have successfully whitewashed the vicious antisemitism of "The Merchant of Venice" (Horn has a PhD in English so she is definitely qualified to speak), myths about name-changing on Ellis Island, and a good deal more. Her travels in laying all this out take us from New Jersey to Amsterdam, Syria to China, and numerous places in between.

There's no way I can summarize the book without making it sound dry or polemical. It's not. Horn's voice is engaging and welcoming (so too is the astonishingly good job of reader Xe Sands -- wow!), and reading the book is like spending several evenings -- spread out over time, of course -- with a smart friend who knows a lot about a lot of things, is gifted in her ability to (warmly) share what she knows, has a good sense of humor, is brutally honest, and who is really angry.

A remarkable book. And again, I can't say enough to praise how good Xe Sands is in her narration. Listening to the book might have prevented me from taking notes and underlining passages, but her reading more than compensates.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wrong Narrator for this Book

WRONG narrator. Right book. At least I think it's the right book because I could only get through maybe half an hour until I just could not justify continuing. Firstly, she sounds so somber while the real author (whom I've heard in interviews and podcasts) is upbeat and informal. But the MOST egregious thing is how many mispronunciations there are with Jewish and Hebrew words, and um, certain names, such as a very famous Holocaust survivor/author/Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel whose last name the narrator pronounced as "weasel!" This is shameful! The correct pronunciation can be found anywhere - just google it. I was willing to let the previous errors slide, like the important holiday of "Simchat Torah" being pronounced as "Sim-Cat" Torah. When I heard the third "weasel" in a row, I could not take it anymore and shut it off. I will be purchasing the hard copy book because I very much want to read the text. It is shocking that the audio producers neglected to approve of a narrator who has BASIC knowledge of anything related to the subject of this book! People really DO love dead Jews if they can't even hire one to narrate a book about one!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, audio misses on pronunciations

The story is great. Horn weaves a view of contemporary Jewish experience through history and literature that strikes a deep chord within me. Aha! moments come. One after the other.

I’m disappointed by the reading. Given everything that is in this book it is ironic — and not in a good way — that the audiobook narrator mispronounced so many names and words throughout.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely reading, but

they really should have chosen a narrator familiar with Hebrew pronunciation. There are some real clunkers here: 'Chava' (pronounced kh, as in Bach, or Chanukah) rendered as 'CHava' as in 'cherry' or 'chair'. Oy. Lots of those, and it really harms the reading.

It's a beautiful work, otherwise.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good book- good/bad title

There are so many good things about this book, the title is not one of them.
First the performance by the narrator is top notch. The inflections and pace are great. She does a wonderful job.
The title. Let's talk about that. The title is the point, but it is so raw when I want to recommend it to a co-worker, I need to buffer the title with a long disclaimer. The point is that the general public of well meaning gentiles love Jews when something horrid has happened. Live Jews (now I'm remembering 2 Live Jews- hip hop) yeah, people are a little less interested. Fair. And that's the theme of the book.
What did I love about the book? So much, I will try to tackle most of them.
I'm a practicing Catholic and I felt a connection to the author when she talked about visiting China and visiting a synagogue that was no longer an operating one, because most of the Jews of the town were forced to flee or were killed. She was illustrating how well preserved/ reconstructed it was because the space invoked familiar feelings of asking how late she was for the service and the physical ritual muscle memory that kicks in when in such a space.
Another topic was on antisemetism... okay not another topic, it is the main topic, but in one essay, she pairs it to Purim and Hanukkah. One, Purim represented pure let's kill the Jews. The other Hanukkah represented we like Jews as long as they are not Jewish.
Something that will require more thought is all the Holocaust memorials that were all the rage in the 1990s. I worked at one of those places. Do they help make it so this will never happen again? Well it keeps happening, to Jews and others. Jews keep getting attacked and killed. Which takes us back to the title.
Lastly, she tackles the Merchant of Venice. She makes a great argument and I am willing to concede that it is an antisemitic piece. But it doesn't make me think of Shakespeare any less. He was who he was and Elizabethan England was not a Jew friendly place and never will be. It is what it is.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

remarkable book about how dead Jews are not new

This book by Dara Horn, whom I'd not read before, is amazing: startling, eye-opening, and smart. It is written beautifully (and the Audible version is read brilliantly) with impressive background research that bolsters Horn's thesis that killing Jews, while being newsworthy in recent days/years, is truly nothing new. She writes with insight and a wicked sense of humor (yes humor!) about this horrific observation. I suspect that the book will be appreciated more by Jews than gentiles, but I hope I'm wrong.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredibly smart, provocative work with subpar narration

This is a stirring piece of work for readers of any or no religion because of the way it challenges conventional wisdom and the more sclerotic pathways of history. I find the narrator’s voice slurry and croaky to the point of having to rewind now and then to figure out what the three words were that sounding like one.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Magnificent

Thought provoking, tragic, funny and beautiful written. I recommend this for anyone struggling with faith.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

would recommend even with caveats

Overall i thought the concept and execution were excellent. It was challenging and engaging and did a great job of digging into each of the sections.

It was occasionally hard to grapple with the disconnect between the descriptions of genocide and hatred towards Jewish people while simultaneously elevating Israel as a political body without mention of the apartheid currently happening there.

And while i thought the narrator did a good job with the somber tone of the work, there were often times where it felt like she was going to burst into tears at any moment, which could be distracting from the work of the text.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Expanded my thinking - and not for the faint of heart

I’m at a bit of a loss to say what I think of this book. It was definitely compelling. The author unpacks many contemporary and some historical perspectives with nuance, empathy and deep insight.
It was also horrifying. There are accounts of violence (because they happened), and I felt rather ill listening not just to the violence, but also to the implications of some mainstream thoughts. I had to listen in small doses, but I also had to finish the book. I hope you do, too. (The ending was well earned.)

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr. A. Risner
  • Mr. A. Risner
  • 03-26-22

Insight upon insight

So much to absorb in this audio book. I discovered aspects of Jewish History hitherto unknown.
Insights into Ongoing Soviet anti semitism highly relevant.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Eva Hnizdo
  • Eva Hnizdo
  • 03-11-22

Depressing and well written

At first, this seemed paranoid, seeing anti-Semitism everywhere. Then I realised that it's accurate and well put together. The presentation in a sarcastic voice was flawless.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ms H Anderson
  • Ms H Anderson
  • 01-01-22

Beautifully written and read

A fascinating book that really made me think. So much new information that I didn’t know, new insights to consider and a deep underlying sadness. It was also read with great tenderness and care. Highly recommend.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J. Wexler
  • J. Wexler
  • 12-13-21

Painful reality, with a large splash of bitters.

Frankly, I am Jewish. The observations of the author are painfully obvious to any jew who has had their family members murdered...which is all of us.

I am not sure the irony and bitterness of being marketed by non-jews after the fact, will be comprehensible, to many non-jews.

What do I mean by this? I travel extensively and see either well meaning non-jews, or people capitalizing on my deceased ancestors and coreligionists, in country after country.

Then I see and experience ongoing anti-semitism.

For me, it's just what people do.

This effort is a worthwhile read. It's written in an approachable style. I hope I am wrong and that the general readership understand and internalize the message.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Melanie Preston Lewis
  • Melanie Preston Lewis
  • 10-18-21

Honest and unflinching

In People Love Dead Jews, Ms Horn expertly lays out the facts for the unwavering lessons of The Holocaust versus the unrelenting anti-Semitism Jews are expected to tolerate today. That most of this Jew hating is disguised as anti-Zionist propaganda seems to give it a layer of respectability. As if hating Jews in the UK and US, (to name a few) is a reasonable reaction to another government's actions. It's exhausting and draining and, despite Ms Horn's excellent and sensitive observations, I don't believe things will change. I can however thank her and applaud her from the bottom of my heart for standing up for the Jewish community. A remarkable, well researched and considerate book.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lynette Chazan
  • Lynette Chazan
  • 09-11-21

brilliant and courageous

the author puts herself on the line and dares to tell it like it is