Shame on me for not knowing that May was Jewish American Heritage Month. To be sure, it lacks the profile of Black History Month, but apparently in Washington it’s a big deal. I was reminded of that when I read about Obama’s closing remarks at the White House on Wednesday, when he took pains to highlight the central anecdote of historian Jonathan Sarna’s new book, “When General Grant Expelled the Jews.”
Do you ever wonder what, one hundred years from now, historians will make of Obama’s record? And how about something more specific: his record with Jews? I do. But reading Jenna Weissman Joselit’s review of a new book on Ulysses S.
When I saw that the new issue of The New Republic had Robert Alter reviewing a new work by Nathan Englander, I instinctively thought it’d be of Englander’s new translation of the Passover Haggadah. Given that Alter is a widely admired translator of the Hebrew Bible, it was only natural for me to assume as much.
Like many liberals, David Brooks is a conservative I can like. But every now and then he falls in with the wrong conservative crowd. And this week it was in his swooning endorsement of Charles Murray and his new book, “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the author of the classic, sepulchral children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” has something of a potty-mouth. But still it feels like one. Maurice Sendak, the 83-year-old author of “Wild Things, as well as a new children’s book, “Bumble-Ardy,” his umpteenth, gave what is to my mind one of the best interviews I’ve read in a long time. Anywhere.
On October 20, Amos Oz's latest book--his 14th--will get released in the United States. But it's been out for at least a month in England, and the reviews have been strong. The wordisthat it's a moving, sparely written short story collection dominated by a sense of loss.
Now that he is an established potentate of American theater, David Mamet has had no trouble saying what he really thinks. Jews may remember his 2002 essay in The Forward, where he lambasted Jews for over-sympathizing with Palestinians. They will probably remember better his 2006 book, "The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Jewish Self-Hatred and the Jews," where he took it further, arguing that liberal Jewish antagonism toward Israel was simple self-hate.
Many Jewish journalists, myself included, spent a good deal of this past spring discussing Peter Beinart's provocative essay on liberal Zionism. If you thought that horse died, think again: Publisher's Weekly just announced that Beinart struck a deal with Times Books to