Conspiracy U: A Case Study
Reviewed By: Susan Keefe
Susan Keefe reviews novels, poetry and non-fiction books for TheColumbiaReview.com
Scott A. Shay, was one of the founders of the Signature Bank in 2001. He is the author of two successful books,’ In Good Faith: Questioning Religion and Atheism,’ which won a finalists award from National Jewish Books, and ‘Getting Our Grove Back: How to Energize American Jewry.’ He is a successful businessman who is happy to give talks, and be interviewed, on radio, TV, and podcasts.
As soon as you start reading this exposé, you can tell it is written from the heart. The author himself admits it was difficult to write. Originally an article to commemorate his father’s liberation from the Nazi concentration camp Dachau, the paper quickly grew until he realised that it must become a book. During the horrendous atrocities of the holocaust, Scott A. Shay lost his grandfather, aunts, uncles, and many other relatives to the Nazi murders, knowing this makes it is easy to understand the passion in his writing.
He begins the book by expanding his readers understanding of the definition, and history, of conspiracy theories. He explains how by allowing conspiracy theories and extremist propaganda, the Golden Rule of his beloved alma mater (Northwestern,) and society, which requires individuals or groups to be treated equally as human beings, and also for accusation to be investigated thoroughly, has been undermined. Whilst studying there he was targeted with Nazi propaganda, and to his dismay then learned that this was something the university were unwilling to do anything about. He then discovered that conspiracy theories abound, and what’s more, the writings on Zionists, by esteemed scholars, experts in their respective fields, Arthur Butz and Steven Thrasher, were also indicative of conspiracy theories. They described Zionism as “a malignant conspiracy intended to harm other peoples through the use of covert, dishonest, manipulative, and/or violent means.” Whereas in reality “Zionism is simply the expression of the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination in their ancestral homeland, the right to their own state.” Yet the Jewish people have fought and been persecuted throughout history in their attempt to attain it.
The depth of research which has gone into this book is astounding. The author really gives the non-Jewish reader an insight into the battles the Jewish people have endured over the centuries, and the strength of their religious belief to sustain their faith against adversity. I found this book extremely thought-provoking, and my eyes were truly opened to the politics of the far-right and far-left in their anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic, and anti-Zionist conspiracy theories. However, in reading this book, I also fully comprehend the complete depth of harm conspiracy theories can cause in all aspects of society.
This book is written on a very personal level. The author references Northwestern University, and its scholars because it is his alma mater. There is no doubt that Northwestern University influenced him in many positive ways, inspiring him to become a lifelong learner, and his graduate studies there furnished him with the skills to compete in the banking and investment world. This heartfelt, and well researched book makes fascinating and enlightening reading. Highly recommended.
Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09DTLMXML?pf_rd_r=DR38HXZ6NS29TGV9GH17&pf_rd_p=6fc81c8c-2a38-41c6-a68a-f78c79e7253f&pd_rd_r=2639808a-27e2-4e0d-8b08-a3071c241c50&pd_rd_w=3YKgK&pd_rd_wg=tmouI&ref_=pd_gw_unk