‘Jewish Question’ draws interest at Montreal book fair

By Katy LeRougetel
December 11, 2023
Militant/Rosemary Ray

Pathfinder Press was among 650 publishing houses setting up booths at the Salon du Livre in Montreal, which was attended by some 88,000 visitors Nov. 22-26. “With all the action this week, it was a very rich experience,” said Josette Hurtubise, volunteering for the first time at Pathfinder’s booth in this book fair. “I loved being part of it. I asked to do an extra shift.”

The “action” she pointed to was tens of thousands of teachers, hospital workers and other Quebecois workers around the province taking part in rallies, picket lines and marches for a week in a fight for wages higher than inflation and for better working conditions.

“I met a Grade 10 history teacher. She bought two books, her friend bought two, and her friend bought one, and she also got a subscription to the Militant,” Hurtubise said. “I enjoyed exchanging opinions with people we met, even when we didn’t agree. I was struck how many young people were drawn to our books.”

The bestseller at the booth was Pathfinder’s The Jewish Question: A Marxist Interpretation by Abram Leon, with 25 sold in French and English. Many were looking for an explanation of what stood behind Hamas’ slaughter of Jews in Israel and ensuing rise of antisemitism worldwide.

Nine people picked up a copy of The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us: The Socialist Workers Party Looks Forward by SWP leaders Jack Barnes, Mary-Alice Waters and Steve Clark. In total, visitors to the booth bought 144 books and 14 subscriptions to the Militant.