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(Twain, Mark). Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. Number 592.
Contains the first appearance of the celebrated essay by Twain: “Concerning the Jews” (pp. 527-35). Uncut. Original printed salmon-colored wrappers, rear cover starting. Sm. 4to.
New York, September, 1899.
In this lengthy essay, the American writer Mark Twain explores the causes of anti-Semitism and possible solutions to the problem. Most memorable is his conclusion:
“If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one per cent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine and abstruse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers…The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone…The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age…All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”