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Synopsis

In this controversial study, Goska exposes one stereotype of Poles and other Eastern Europeans. In the "Bieganski" stereotype, Poles exhibit the qualities of animals. They are strong, stupid, violent, fertile, anarchic, dirty, and especially hateful in a way that more evolved humans are not. Their special hatefulness is epitomized by their Polish anti-Semitism. Bieganski discovers this stereotype in the mainstream press, scholarship, film, in Jews' self-definition, and in responses to the Holocaust. Bieganski's twin is Shylock, the stereotype of the crafty, physically inadequate, moneyed Jew. The final chapters of the book are devoted to interviews with American Jews, which reveal that Bieganskiand Shylockare both alive and well among those who have little knowledge of Poles or Poland.

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