A couple of weeks ago I wrote a profile of Joseph Lelyveld, author of the much-discussed new Gandhi biography titled "Great Soul." I focused on the parts of the book that focused on Gandhi's association with Jews--from the possible homosexual relationship he had with a Jewish architect, to his tenuous position on a Jewish state. But in the new issue of Harper's, the courageous liberal Israeli journalist David Shulman writes the kind of review I wish I had: he highlights the real-life Gandhian figures i
The thought seems outrageous: that pracifism, a principled objection to America's entrance into World War II, would have saved more Jews than fighting Hitler and defeating Nazism altogether. But that is the argument that Nicolson Baker, the novelist and author of the 2008 pacifist's interpretation of the war, Human Smoke, makes in his month's Harper's. And his case is compelling.
For subscribers to Harper's, there's a fantastic essay by Christopher Beha about his stint as a City Opera "super." Read it, a must. Beha, an editor at the magazine, reports on the comical, often infuriating but ultimately riveting experience of being an extra ("super") in the City Opera's 2009 production of Hugo Weisgall's "Esther."
This week I wrote an essay about how Jewish culture will change in light of the coming e-book revoluion. I talked to at least a dozen Jewish book experts, from scholars and publishers, to readers and rabbis, and there was clearly no consensus about what might happen--only unanimous agreement that something important will.