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A National Institute for Polish and Polish American Affairs


Analysis of Dinah Spritzer's Review of FEAR
Spritzer's review appeared in the "Jerusalem Post" on September 28th, 2006

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Dinah Spritzer’s review is a sympathetic but not altogether uncritical analysis of FEAR. She notes, for example, that “Gross’s psychoanalysis of Poles leaves doubts.” She also cites questions raised by important figures such as Michael Schudrich about how representative Professor Gross’s data really are, and the actual extent of the phenomenon discussed by Professor Gross. Spritzer explicitly raises the issue of the effect of the book on Polish-Jewish reconciliation today. She closes this brief discussion, however, with Professor Gross’s own observation that his work “is not a picture of Poland today.”

Oddly enough, Spritzer’s view of Professor Gross as a scholar and narrator is that he is “an engaging and meticulous historian, a writer on par with great storytellers like George Orwell, but he is not a sociologist.” Professor Gross is, ironically, a sociologist by training. The faults that analysts of Professor Gross’s scholarship often identify is that he is too much a sociologist and not enough of a historian, and that his psycho-social theories often overwhelm (or substitute for) his thin evidence.

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