The Enemy Camp Takes Aim at Prejudice

In The Enemy Camp, Jerome Weidman looks at Jewish-Gentile relations through a Jew’s eyes.

Taken from an orphanage, George Hurst was raised on the Lower East Side by “Aunt” Tessie. He accepted her values as he accepted her love, without question, on all but one thing: his best friend, Danny Schorr.

Tessie thinks Danny is no good — and she’s right.

Danny uses George, kills his chance of a law degree, steals his girl, and goes on to make a fortune.

George pulls himself together, becomes a successful accountant, and marries a Main Line Philadelphia girl.

Suddenly, with one phone call, George’s past threatens to undo the respectable suburban commuter life he’s built for himself.

Weidman is a fine storyteller with a keen eye for characterization. He weaves a complex story about a basically nice guy with a few blind spots. George is likable, trustworthy, and caring— even though he sometimes does things that are stupid and mean.

It’s temping to see The Enemy Camp as a tribute to our contemporary lack of prejudice.

That would be a mistake.

We haven’t eliminated prejudice. We’ve merely changed the subjects about which we are prejudiced.

The Enemy Camp
by Jerome Weidman
Random House, 1958
561 pages
My Grade: B+
© 2007 Linda Gorton Aragoni