They say that any press is good press and in the case of Deborah Feldman that couldn’t be more truthful. Ever since her book, Unorthodox, hit the stores there has been a heated debate among the very community she seeks to distance herself from and until now, no one has done any research into why and how the hateful campaign against a memoir started. In general memoirs are never thought to be accurate or exact in the first place and seldom do they receive as much attention as this one did, in fact many people believe that Unorthodox only became a best seller because of the strategic hate campaign devised by Feldman herself.
It’s pretty strange that Amazon was the first place that these “anti-Feldman” people sought to attack. Countless false reviews of a book they have never read were posted by random people on Amazon. Ironically, as the book reviews plunged the book started selling more copies. This could only be the work of a masterful marketing strategist who knows how to kindle the flames of curiosity. Then came the blog “Deborah-Feldman Exposed“, many people in the literarry world couldn’t figure out what someone was exposing when it was merely a memoir, which means it’s semi-fiction in the first place. Why else, besides for marketing and creating a negative ad campaign would someone spend time devoted to lambasting a memoir that could have ended up in obscurity if not for this genius bad press strategy.
Not only has the bad press worked to make Ms. Feldman into a bestselling author, but it has made the Satmar community look bad at the same time. Obviously, some of the bad press was not just marketing and was in fact honest, but in worked to her advantage double time. You see, it got more people like myself to buy the book, because we thought it must be terribly juicy to warrant such criticism (it wasn’t juicy, won’t make anyone hate Chassidim and Foreskins Lament and Hush were actually interesting and funny) but it also made people who bought the book trust it even more, because it warranted so much criticism. If the book were simply like another thing you shove under the rug, like child molesting or bank fraud – it would have been forgotten in a week, but now that googling Deborah Feldman brings up damning expose’s on the community – the marketing strategy has worked to help Feldman sell more books and make her stories look more truthful than ever before.
Negative ad campaigns are popular outlaw tactics in order to drive up the value or sales of something. In Feldman’s case it worked wonderfully to the point that even mentioning her name receives a negative response, yet the non-Jews love her and hate the community even more. So well did the campaign work that Shmarya Rosenberg of Failed Messiah even went after her.