the new yorker

How Bad Was the Inquistion? What Adam Gopnik Gets Right--and Wrong--about Our Jewish Nightmare

[Update: The book discussed in this blog, "God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World," by Cullen Murphy, gets a nice review in today's New York Times. Check it out here.]

T.S. Eliot: The Poet and Anti-Semite, A New Look

Yale University Press recently published the letters of T.S. Eliot, who, many argue, was the most influential poet of the last century.  The problem for us Jews, as ever, is that Eliot was an incorrigible anti-semite.  So what do we do?

The Religious Ecstasy of Alfred Kazin

 Fifty years ago, one of the most influential literary critics around was Alfred Kazin.  Everyone knew he was Jewish -- a famed member of the City College New York Intellectual set of the 1930s -- but few probably thought much of it.  Kazin seemed to like it that way, never distancing himself from his identity, but also only occasionally allowing his thoughts on Jewishness to seep into print.

The Religious Ecstasy of Alfred Kazin

 Fifty years ago, one of the most influential literary critics around was Alfred Kazin.  Everyone knew he was Jewish -- a famed member of the City College New York Intellectual set of the 1930s -- but few probably thought much of it.  Kazin seemed to like it that way, never distancing himself from his identity, but also only occasionally allowing his thoughts on Jewishness to seep into print.

Today's Guest Blogger: God

The New Yorker's exhaustive report on the killing of Osama is undoubtedly the magazine's coup this week.  This morning, a day after the new issue hit newstands, I woke up to the reporter, Nicholas Schmidle, being interviewed on "Morning Joe."  There was talk about a book dea, but if Schmidle's piece is the keeper this week, then perhaps it'll have one deleterious effect: people will forget about the Shouts & Murmurs section, where the magazine puts it short humor p

Elisabeth Badinter: The Celebrity French Intellectual Every Jew (And Feminist) Should Know

If you don't know who Bernard Henri-Levy is, don't worry.  There's a new celebrity French intellectual you should know: Elisabeth Badinter.  She's an older feminist who recently became a celebrity in France with her trenchant new book attacking other feminists' views.  And like BHL, she's Jewish.

Israel Zangwill's "Melting Pot" and Europe's Anti-Muslim Problem: Lessons from Two Struggles

It doesn't matter if you're liberal or conservative--if you're European, "mutliculturalism" has become a dirty word.  The New York Times ran an op-ed today by a British writer attacking multiculturalism as form of public policy.

The Schooling of Gil Scott-Heron, Dead at 62

The Fieldston School in Riverdale has many famous alumni. They include: J. Robert Oppenheimer, Roy Cohn, Stephen Sondheim, Eli Zabar and Diane Arbus.  Needless to say they're all Jewish.  But re-reading this New Yorker profile of the revered black poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron, I was reminded that the prestigious prep school has done much to reach out to less affluent non-Jews. 

Taming Wagner: Or, How Anti-Semitism Made the Composer Likable

Richard Wagner inspires visceral reactions, with listeners tend to either love him or hate him.

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