Lenni Brenner's Author's blurb and reviews
walterlx at enet.cu
Wed Jul 9 16:19:33 MDT 2003
(There's a great little tool, for free,
with which, after a few keystrokes
and a few steps by hand, I made
this a good deal easier to read.)
Lenni Brenner was born into an Orthodox Jewish family. He
became an atheist at 10, and a Marxist at 15, in 1952. His
involvement with the Black civil rights movement began on
his first day in the organized left, when he met James
Farmer of the Congress of Racial Equality, later the
organizer of the "freedom rides" of the early 60s. He was
active in the mid 50s with Bayard Rustin, later the
organizer of Martin Luther King's 1963 "I had a dream" March
He was arrested 3 times during civil rights sit-ins in the
San Francisco Bay Area. He spent 39 months in prison when a
court revoked his probation for marijuana possession, for
his activities during the Berkeley Free Speech Movement at
the University of California in 1964.
Immediately on imprisonment, he spent 4 days in intense
discussion with Huey Newton, later founder of the Black
Panther Party, who he encountered in the holding tank.
Subsequently he worked with Kathy Cleaver. More recently, in
the 90s, he and Panther do-founder Bobby Seale defended
their activities during the 60s on Morton Downey's TV show.
He was an anti-war activist from the 1st days of the Vietnam
war, speaking frequently at rallies in the Bay Area. In 1963
he organized the Committee for Narcotic Reform in Berkeley.
In 1968 he co-founded the National Association for Irish
Justice, the American affiliate of the Northern Ireland
Civil Rights Association.
In the 90s he and Kwame Ture (aka Stokely Carmichael), the
legendary "Black Power" leader of the Student Non-Violent
Coordinating Committee, co-founded the Committee against
Zionism and Racism. They also published The Anti-War
He is presently organizing the Coalition for Narcotic Law
Mr. Brenner is the author of 4 books, Zionism in the Age of
the Dictators, The Iron Wall: Zionist Revisionism from
Jabotinsky to Shamir, Jews in America Today, and The Lesser
Evil, a study of the Democratic Party. His books have been
favorably reviewed in 10 languages by prominent
publications, including the London Times, The London Review
of Books, Moscow's Izvestia and the Jerusalem Post.
He has written over 100 articles for many publications,
including the Amsterdam News, the Anderson Valley
Advertizer, the Atlanta Constitution, CounterPunch, the
Jewish Guardian, the Nation, the Washington Report on Middle
East Affairs, Middle East Policy, Middle East International,
the Journal of Palestine Studies, the New Statesman of
London, Al-Fajr in Jerusalem and Dublin's United Irishman.
In 2002 he edited 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with
the Nazis. It contains complete translations of many of the
documents quoted in Zionism in the Age of the Dictators and
The Iron Wall.
==END - Author's Blurb/Bio
Edward Mortimer, "Contradiction, collusion and controversy,"
Zionism in the Age of the Dictators by Lenni Brenner
Who told a Berlin audience in March 1912 that "each country
can absorb only a limited number of Jews, if she doesn't
want disorders in her stomach. Germany already has too many
No, not Adolf Hitler but Chaim Weizmann, later president of
the World Zionist Organization and later still the first
president of the state of Israel.
And where might you find the following assertion, originally
composed in 1917 but republished as late as 1936: "The Jew
is a caricature of a normal, natural human being, both
physically and spiritually. As an individual in society he
revolts and throws off the harness of social obligation,
knows no order nor discipline"?
Not in Der Stürmer but in the organ of the Zionist youth
organization, Hashomer Hatzair.
As the above quoted statement reveals, Zionism itself
encouraged and exploited self-hatred in the Diaspora. It
started from the assumption that anti-Semitism was
inevitable and even in a sense justified so long as Jews
were outside the land of Israel.
It is true that only an extreme lunatic fringe of Zionism
went so far as to offer to join the war on Germany's side in
1941, in the hope of establishing "the historical Jewish
state on a national and totalitarian basis, and bound by a
treaty with the German Reich." Unfortunately this was the
group which the present Prime Minister of Israel chose to
That fact gives an extra edge of topicality to what would in
any case be a highly controversial study of the Zionist
record in the heyday of European fascism by Lenni Brenner,
an American Trotskyist writer who happens also to be Jewish.
It is short (250 pages), crisp and carefully documented. Mr
Brenner is able to cite numerous cases where Zionists
collaborated with anti-Semitic regimes, including Hitler's;
he is careful also to put on record the opposition to such
policies within the Zionist movement.
In retrospect these activities have been defended as a
distasteful but necessary expedient to save Jewish lives.
But Brenner shows that most of the time this aim was
secondary. The Zionist leaders wanted to help young, skilled
and able-bodied Jews to emigrate to Palestine. They were
never in the forefront of the struggle against fascism in
That in no way absolves the wartime Allies for their callous
refusal to make any serious effort to save European Jewry.
As Brenner says, "Britain must be condemned for abandoning
the Jews of Europe"; but, "it is not for the Zionists to do
====END - London Times
Politica Internazionale, (Italy), Spring 1985
The Iron Wall, Zionist Revisionism from Jabotinsky to Shamir
This book is a historical document of Zionist revisionism
seen in the light also of the personal vicissitudes of its
inventor and major interpreter. The author, a
Jewish-American historian, does not conceal his dislike for
revisionism. Yet he tries to understand and explain its
internal dynamics. The result is, undoubtedly, satisfactory.
The inclusion in the book, at the side of Jabotinsky and
Begin, of Shamir, whose historical role is decidedly
secondary is perplexing.
Obviously the author felt the need to find a representative
and a leader for today's (and yesterday's) revisionism.
Particularly interesting and penetrating appears the first
part, that devoted to Jabotinsky. The biographical data,
apart from facilitating reading, are warranted by the
historic importance which is attributed to the character of
the personage. In this sense, the socio-cultural humus of
his childhood is of basic importance. But his personal
vicissitudes, including his family misfortunes, are also
Revisionism ends up by being presented almost as an outcome
of Jabotinsky's anti-communism. And it is precisely from his
anti-communism that one has to start to understand the
contradictions of his practical action and of his ideology.
One thinks, for instance, of his open-mindedness in the
choice of alliances, which brought Herzl's noted attitude to
paroxysm. Jabotinsky searched, in the early twenties,
alliances with the white Ukrainians, led by Slavinsky,
namely the slaughterers of tens of thousands of Jews. As to
the ideology, it is remarked that revisionism did not
presuppose the expulsion of the Arabs. If anything, being
deeply reactionary, he intended the relations between Arabs
and Jews to be according to the colonial scheme, with the
former, the natives, in the role of the colonized (more or
less to be civilized) and the latter in the role of
The iron wall, which appears in the title, is, in fact, a
metaphor to indicate the need to use arms (a wall of
bayonets) against the local population.
Nissim Rejwan, "A Civil Religion," Jerusalem Post, 12/31/88
Jews in America Today by Lenni Brenner
Lenni Brenner cannot be accused of mixing themes or mincing
words. A self-styled Trotskyist at odds with practically
everything and everybody, his style is as racy as it is
pithy and iconoclastic. This makes Jews in America Today
great fun to read, although I fear very few readers of this
paper can be expected to agree with any part of his general
In writing on American Jewry today, Brenner takes up - and
on! - a considerable number of issues and persons that do
not always seem germane to his specific subject. A sampling
of chapter headings: "Six million Skeletons in the Closet;"
"Blacks and Jews: Maids and Muggers, Landlords and Lawyers;"
"Hath Not a Jew Credit Cards? Ph.D? Uzi Machine Gun?," "the
Intelligentsia, Israel and the Jews."
Brenner spares no one. On the attitude of American Zionists
to Israeli emigrants, he writes: "The yordim trouble
American Jews, particularly those with Zionist sympathies...
Israel is a settlers' laager and can survive only if the
wagons circle together to face the Indians... Many American
Zionists see the yordim as little more than traitors, but
have ambiguous feelings because they themselves have no
intention of moving to Israel."
Again, in speaking of the Eichmann trial, he has this to say
about Hannah Arendt and her sharply critical stance: "Arendt
was no lawyer; but a graduate of Mittle Europa's genius
factories feels called upon to fault everything, and she
quibbled with the terminology of the indictment, the
prosecutor's arguments, the court's opinions and procedures,
and those of the later appellate court as well; but in the
end her caveats and cavils amounted to nothing and she
ultimately upheld the court's jurisdiction and, of course,
Well, to paraphrase a famous American advertisement, You
don't have to agree with Brenner to enjoy reading Jews in
American Library Association Booklist, 9/1/1988
Lenni Brenner, The Lesser Evil
Muckraking is alive, kicking, red-faced with indignation,
and unputdownably readable in this exposé of the Democratic
Party. Brenner shows that despite initially progressive
leadership by Founding Fathers Jefferson, Madison and
Monroe, the aggregation's base of support in the
slave-holding South soon dragged it into immoral reaction
and corruption under Jackson, the patron deity of the spoils
system and, in his last years, a rabid advocate of slavery.
And so it has been ever since, by Brenner's accounting, and
he documents his case impressively. He reminds us that the
Republicans began as the progressive alternative party; that
up until FDR, progressives came more often from the GOP's
ranks, despite its own post-Reconstruction depravity; that
the programs that brought Roosevelt liberal support were
balanced by his virulent racism against Blacks, Jews, and
Japanese-Americans; and that the record of every major
Democrat since reeks of legal and moral turpitude. Brenner's
intent is to finally drive liberals from the party, to make
them see that supporting the Democrats any longer is futile
and stupid. If enough of them read him, he just might
succeed. A brilliant polemic, and is it ever sarcastic!
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