Shlomo Sand was born in 1946 in a displaced persons camp in Austria, to Jewish parents; the family later migrated to Palestine. During his life, Sand came to question his Jewish identity, even that as a 'secular Jew.' With this meditative and thoughtful mixture of essay and personal recollection, he articulates the problems at the centre of modern Jewish identity. How I Stopped Being a Jew discusses the negative effects of the Israeli exploitation of the 'chosen people' myth and its 'holocaust industry'. Sand criticises the fact that, in the current context, what 'Jewish' means is, above all, not being Arab and reflects on the possibility of a secular, non-exclusive Israeli identity, beyond the legends of Zionism.
Praise for The Invention of the Jewish People Perhaps books combining passion and erudition don't change political situations, but if they did, this one would count as a landmark. --Eric Hobsbawm, Observer Sand's quiet earthquake of a book is shaking historical faith in the link between Judaism and Israel. --Rafael Behr, Observer No discussion of the region any longer seems complete without acknowledgement of this book. --Independent on Sunday, Best History Books of 2009 A radical dismantling of a national myth. --Guardian