Blood Libel: On The Trail of an Antisemitic Myth by Magda Teter


“An intellectual tour de force. This authoritative study of the blood libel and its ramifications in early modern Europe will become a classic.”—Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia, author of Trent 1475: Stories of a Ritual Murder Trial

“A work of wide-ranging research, great insight, and remarkable erudition. This will be the definitive book on blood libel for a long time to come, equally important for readers of Jewish history and Christian history in early modern Europe.”—Larry Wolff, author of Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment

“In this deeply researched and meticulously argued book, Magda Teter offers the first comprehensive study of the origins and afterlife of one of the most virulent and harmful of all anti-Jewish accusations. But Blood Libel is far more than a narrative history. By highlighting the central role of printed books, broadsheets, and images in the dissemination of the libel, Teter illuminates the mechanisms by which hate can be generated, and offers a powerful and sobering lesson for our own time.”—Sara Lipton, author of Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Jewish Iconography

“[A] magisterial account of the blood libel and its origins” — The Times Higher Education

“A gripping history of an undying lie….“Blood Libel,” amazingly for an academic work, reads like a high-end crime novel; it’s a page-turner that the reader will have difficulty putting down.” Jerome Chanes, The New York Jewish Week

“An allegory for our age, a story about how technological change, religious beliefs, struggles for power, and a politics of demonization can produce memes capable of transmitting the potential for violence across vast amounts of time and space.” David Nirenberg, The Nation.

“A well-written, masterful examination of one of the most deleterious examples of ‘fake news’… Teter is fully conversant with canon and civil law, iconography, church–state relations, and social history—all requisite in exploring the regional similarities and differences between Christian attitudes regarding, and Jewish responses to, the blood libel charge.”—Choice

“Draws on archives in eight countries, including Vatican City, in a detailed analysis of the establishment of this monstrous myth in medieval and early modern Europe… Blood Libel presents a cogent account of this persistence of hate… An informative account of the different ways in which European countries handled blood libel accusations against Jews… A timely reminder that ‘leadership matters, as do words and official statements.’”—Glenn C. Altschuler, The Jerusalem Post

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