A Race Apartrnby Paul Gottfriedrn”A people still, whose common ties are gone;rnWho, mixed with every race, are lost in none.”rn-George CrabbernThe Culture of Critiquernby Kevin MacDonaldrnWestport, C’l: Praeger;rn379 pp., $65.00rnKein MacDonald’s study of the Jewishrnpeople in sociobiological perspectirne will not likely help his career, forrnreasons ha ing nothing to do with the author’srnscholarship or his accumulation ofrnperhnent evidence. While treating hisrnsubjects respectfully, attributing tornAshkcnazic Jews a mean I.Q. one standardrnde iation higher than that of whiterngenhles, he commits the indiscretion ofrndescribing Jewish behavioral characteristicsrnnoted as well liy antisemites: for example,rnan aggrcssie demeanor towardrnthe core cultures of host peoples in combinationrnwith the practice of rituallv andrnsocialK prescribed separation from gentiles,rnw hich he ascribes to a form of collectirnc consciousness that may be inbornrnas well as culturallv acc[uired. MacDonaldrnpresents tiiis consciousness as endemicrnto a group that has worked strenuouslyrnto presene its genohpal identit}’.rnMacDonald’s argument is based onrnho presuppositions. One, MacDonaldrnregards the Jews not as a succession ofrnself-identified peoples revealing geneticrnand cultural overlap, but as a single nationrnexisting from antiquity to the present.rnSince Jews ‘icw themselves in thisrnPaul Gottfried, a projeasor of humanitiesrnat Klizahethtown College in Elizabethtown,rnPennsylvania, is the author, mostrnrecently. o/-fter Liberalism: MassrnDemocrac- in the Managerial Statern(Princeton).rnfashion and because they have been atrnpains, imtil recently, to refrain from intermarriage,rnhis assumption may be defensible.rnTwo, MacDonald maintainsrnthat contemporary Jews, particularlv inrnthe United States, oppose and protestrneven the remnants of the Christian hostrnculture not because of anv threat tlievrnface but simply in order to displace whatrnthey view as alien. I’heir distinctive culture,rngroup dynamics, and jealouslyrnguarded genetic inheritance explain whrnorganized Jewry resists anv public manifestationrnof a non-Jewish American identity.rnRelated to this stance of relentlessrnopposition, which finds academic expressionrnin the “culture of critique,” is a Jewishrncharacteristic that MacDonald ievvsrnas invariably present: a drive to competernfor social and material resources withrnthose perceived as outsiders.rnSince Jews supposedly have acquired arncognitive advantage over most otherrngroups through careful eugenic practices,rncompetition yields them remarkablernsuccess. In the past, their group performancernwas hindered by the host peoples’rnpossession of a degree of ethnic consciousnessrncomparable to their own. hirnthese circumstances —medieval Europe,rnsay, or 20th-century Russia—Jews havernbeen limited in their collective and individualrnambitions. As MacDonald explainsrnin the second two volumes of hisrntrilogy, such obstacles forced them tornadopt daring strategies, most fatefully thernembrace of revolutionary ideologies andrnprograms. As an embattled out-group,rnJews supported and led revolutionaryrnEj movements in vast disproportion to theirrn^ numbers. And while tensions have exist-rn1 ed over the last 200 years between Rabbirricrnand revolutionary Jews, MacDonaldrnis correct in suggesting that thernconflict has not been as sharp as is commonlyrnbelieved. Many observant Jewsrnhave been on the political left, and todayrnOrthodox Jews feel no compunctionrnabout voting for left-liberal politiciansrnsuch as Barbara Boxer and CharlesrnSchumer. (The same obscration wouldrnapply to Catholic minorities in Englandrnand Canada.)rnLike most speculative studies, MacDonald’srnwork is open to question. Itsrnemphasis on the continuities betweenrnancient and modern Jews assumes morernsameness than may exist, while exaggeratingrnthe degree to which Jewish theismrnwas an invention intended to intensifyrnethnic solidarity. A huge historiographicrnliterature presents the opposite view:rnnamely, that Jewish national consciousnessrnbegan as a by-product of Jewishrnmonotheism. And in pre-Rabbinic Judaism,rnintermarriage did occur frequentlyrnbetween Jewish and non-Jewishrnelites — Moses, Solomon, and the rulersrnof the two post-Solomonic Jewish king-rnJUNE 2000/27rnrnrn