Adam Kirsch

The Trouble With Anger

In the brief national soul-searching that followed the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, many observers, including President Obama, reflected on the troubling excess of anger and moral indignation in our political discourse—the kind of indignation that turns opponents into enemies, and campaigns into crusades. Yet, even as responsible figures on the right and the left in America are urging their fellow-citizens (in Roger Ailes’s surprising words) to “tone it down,” the best-selling book in France is a pamphlet titled Indignez-vous!—roughly, Get Angry!

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The Thought Experiment

Sari Nusseibeh is not a Palestinian Gandhi—he is a secular intellectual, not a saint, and while he has occupied prominent roles in Palestinian life (f

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Ashen

Zeruya Shalev writes about character and emotion in a thoroughly psychoanalytic spirit. Indeed, one of the surprising features of this Israeli novel i

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Edited Out

Tablet and Pen includes writing in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, as one would expect, but no Hebrew writers. But why? Tablet and Pen is really an anth

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The Man in the Storm

It is a fitting irony that S. An-sky, who preferred Russian and occasionally used Yiddish but could not write Hebrew, should be remembered today as a

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Convertito

Who would believe that in Fascist Italy, a group of several dozen Catholic peasants would spontaneously decide to convert to Judaism; that they would

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All the attention paid to the season finale of "Mad Men," last Sunday night more or less eclipsed the finale of AMC’s other Sunday-night drama, "Rubicon." It’s not clear yet whether Rubicon will be back for another season—it hasn’t exactly gotten rave reviews (New York Magazine’s verdict: “A promising show that started with a train crash ends up kind of a train wreck.” But complaints about the series’ slow narrative pace and uneven performances shouldn’t be allowed to obscure what made "Rubicon" so fascinating: its subversion, even deconstruction, of the very spy-thriller clichés it was built

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Counter-Revelations

Robert Alter’s ongoing translation of the Hebrew Bible into a new, more accurate and forceful English version is one of the most ambitious literary pr

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The Conjurer

The Magician of Lublin may not exactly be “a lost classic,” as the cover of the new paperback claims—it went through several editions in the 1960s and

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I haven’t yet read all the way through Freedom, the new novel by Jonathan Franzen. But like every sentient person in the United States, I’ve read a good deal about it, and I’ve been especially intrigued by the way reviewers have characterized Franzen’s attempt to write the political history of the George W. Bush years.

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