As we near the end of the first decade of the new century, I wonder which books we’ll later look back on as best capturing our present time.
This season, several new books are fine period pieces, conjuring other eras. Non-fiction narratives depict a particular time and place through research and documentation; novels do so through invention, embellishing actual events.
With tensions mounting on American campuses over anti-Semitism and the Israel-Palestinian conflict, hundreds of college presidents have signed onto a landmark petition calling for "intimidation-free" campuses.
But the document itself has become the subject of controversy.
That's because the statement, released by the American Jewish Committee, specifically mentions only intimidation against Jewish students.
As a result, some university presidents have declined to sign.
Pioneering university group banking on novel ties to state.
At 1:45 a.m. on a recent weeknight, a group of 27 Jewish students gathered in the main auditorium at University of Michigan’s Hillel. Instead of breaking out the beer, they video-conferenced with Nir Elperin, vice president of Arba Finance, a venture capital firm in Tel Aviv.
A split-screen projected on the wall featured a PowerPoint presentation on one side and Elperin on the other, talking in real time about the venture capital and high-tech industry in Israel, as well as various ways in which startups secure funding.
Campus battles over the Middle East conflict and rising anti-Semitism are heating up on several fronts:
# A national pro-Palestinian student conference declaring that “Zionism is racism” is slated for Oct. 12 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, with plans to increase pressure on college officials to drop investments in Israel.
New York University historian Tony Judt sought to claim new ammunition this week for his charge that pro-Israel groups use their influence to stifle debate about their activities.
Less than three hours before he was due to give a talk about the Israel lobby at the Polish Consulate Tuesday night, Poland's consul general abruptly canceled the event after being contacted by Jewish and non-Jewish organizations.
But the question of whether Jewish groups (in particular, the Anti-Defamation League) pressured Consul General Krzysztof Kasprzyk remained in sharp dispute.