In spite of Shanghai’s history as a haven for Jews, the rest of China appears to be perpetuating a dangerous stereotype. A recent Washington Post article reports that some disturbing titles have become popular sellers in China’s bookshops:
One promises “The Eight Most Valuable Business Secrets of the Jewish.”Another title teases readers with “The Legend of Jewish Wealth.” A third provides a look at “Jewish People and Business: The Bible of How to Live Their Lives.”… In the past few years, sales of “success” books have skyrocketed, publishers say, and now make up nearly a third of the works published in China, and perhaps no type of success book has been as well marketed or well received as those that purport to unveil the secrets of Jewish entrepreneurs. Many of these tomes sell upward of 30,000 copies a year and are thought of in the same inspirational way as many Americans view the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series.
To add to the weirdness, with 50-odd titles on the subject, no one seems to be able to track down any of the authors. But they’re flying like kreplach egg rolls off the shelves of whatever is the Chinese equivalent of Borders.
Hot Air wonders if this phenomenon of “Jewish” business books can be considered anti-Semitic since the attitude is of emulation (regardless if it’s based on fictitious nonsense) rather than negativity. Or, put another way, should the ADL be concerned that millions of books are being read that claim “all Jews are rich and you can be too!” instead of “all Jews are rich and must be destroyed”?
Is there such thing as a positive stereotype? Would it be offensive if I decided to write a book called “Asian Secrets of the SATs”? (Yes, yes it would.)
*The sculpture is from 9th century China portraying a Jewish merchant in Luoyang, on display in the Luoyang Museum in Henan Province.