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Reader's Book Review Called Anti-Semitic

October 22, 1998

I've been, literally, a lifelong reader of The Times (I'm 45), and this morning's Bookshelf section (a reader's review of Herman Wouk's "War and Remembrance," Oct. 1) nearly caused me to cancel my subscription. Horrifically, the writer suggests that "there are good Germans and bad Germans. The Jews are partly to blame for their own destruction, and the Americans fight just as dirty as the Germans do." Not only is her information anti-Semitic, but it's plain wrong. Maybe it could be interpreted that the writer was suggesting the characters in the novel were "partly to blame," but that too would be inaccurate.

While I understand that this section is just an opportunity for readers to express their favorite books, this piece suggests either carelessness or indifference on the part of The Times.

BRUCE SALLAN

Los Angeles

Editor's note: In her review of Herman Wouk's "War and Remembrance," the reader wrote that the book "doesn't take sides. There are good Germans and bad Germans. The Jews are partly to blame for their own destruction, and the Americans fight as dirty as the Germans do." The reviewer, in supporting her point that the novel doesn't take sides, was referring to the book's content. The Times does not endorse arguments that Jews were to blame for what happened to them during the Holocaust.

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