Archive for May 14th, 2015


Note: We review this book in light of the rising anti-Semitism in some part of the World in our day and age.  Also, it is part of our .The Plot The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion Will Eisner

Will Eisner. The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.  New York, NY:
W.W Norton & Company, Inc., 2005. 142 pp.

This is the last work of the famous cartoonist Will Eisner.  What this work is about is no laughing matter and is more a tragedy than a comic, as the forward mentioned.  This graphic novel is about an alleged secret document that supposedly proved a secret agenda and plan by Jewish leaders to take over the world.  This document, called the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, has been perpetuated for decades by various group of people with varying agendas but whom all unite under the banner of anti-Semitism.  Although repeatedly proven as a fraud in scholarly sources unfortunately a lot of these evidences against the document have been as accessible for most common people.  This Graphic Novel is Eisner’s contribution to combat against the propaganda.  I think Eisner understood the power of the medium in reaching the masses through Graphic Novel which is more mainstream for our society than academic works.  And yet as the Graphic Novel approaches the end Eisner himself shows his awareness that some will be convinced no matter what the evidence is because they have already made up their mind as to what to believe.

Through this book I learned that Mathieu Golovinski was the source of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.  Golovinski was a Russian forger and plagiarizer working for the Russian Secret Police.  He has spent a portion of his childhood in France and was thus an asset for the Russians to use to try to doctor a false document that allegedly showed a plot of Jews wanting to take over the world.  This was originally planted in French newspaper and then used by Golovinski handlers to pressure the Tsar of Russia against modernizing policies.  Unfortunately The Protocols went on to have a larger life of its own.

Golovniski plagiarized heavily from a French writer name Marcie Joly who wrote a book titled The Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu that was originally a literary piece critical of Napoleon.   I appreciate that though this is a Graphic Novel it was serious enough of a topic that Eisner presented a side by side comparision between the works for the readers to come to their own conclusion that The Protocols was plagerized.  I appreciated the fact that this Graphic Novel had “end notes” to show where one can find the original source of the quotation!

This Graphic Novel tells the story of how a Russian séances name Sergius Nilus who was a competitor to Rasputin published in his books The Protocol to attack the Jews. This helped spread the malicious use of The Protocol.  The book also show how the Nazis, the Soviets, the Klu Klux Klan, Marxists and Islamists also published the Protocol as being true even though it has been continuously refuted.  In terms of the history of the document being debunked it began with a British foreign correspondent name Philip Graves when he was working at Constantinople in 1921 for “The Times” of London.  Graves was sold a copy of The Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu by a Russian Émigré who pointed out to him that The Protocol was a plagiary.  Graves published his finding in the newspaper and also had the book authenticated and compared to other copies.  As decades went on more problems were pointed out by others concerning the document.  The Graphic Novel also show the author Will Eisner going about researching on The Protocol.

I enjoyed the graphic novel very much and found the introduction and afterwards helpful.  The introduction was written by Umberto Eco who have written as a scholar exposing The Protocol, specifically with how it has stolen ideas from Eugene Sue’s Le Juif Errant that tells of the Jesuits plans and agenda.  Stephen Eric Bronner, a political scientist at Rutgers also wrote the afterwards.  It was helpful to see that the book also have a bibliography for further research; and I plan to study more on this topic in the near future.

Purchase: Amazon

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