Ian Spiegel-Blum

The Real Fifth Beatle

Graphic novel tells graphic tale of drugs, homosexuality in the Swinging Sixties and Brit Brian Epstein, the man behind the band.

02/14/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story chronicles in surrealist, comic-book-style fashion the rise and fall of one of the most successful music managers of all time. It is the untold tale of Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ Jewish, homosexual manager, who guided the group during their atmospheric rise to fame and whose vision changed the world. “If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian,” Paul McCartney famously stated in a 1999 BBC interview.

Brian Epstein

'Unclean Lips:' Jews And Obscenity

New book traces role of Jews and obscenity in the pushing of societal boundaries, from Isaiah to Sarah Silverman.

01/24/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist
Story Includes Video: 
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Few anti-Semitic remarks have plagued the Jewish people more than the “dirty-Jew” stereotype. “The idea of Jews as differing sexually from Christians had a long history… [I]n the ancient Mediterranean, Jews had been called an ‘obscene people,’ who were ‘prone to lust’ and ‘indisputably carnal’ by Romans,” writes Josh Lambert, academic director of the Yiddish Book Center and visiting assistant professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His new book, Unclean Lips: Obscenity, Jews, and American Culture, illuminates the dangerous origins of this false idea, as well as teasing out salient questions about the Jewish historical role in obscenity law throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Josh Lambert
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