Adam Kirsch

Youth Was Not Silent
May 18, 2011

Much can be gleaned about Walter Benjamin’s Jewishness, and that of his whole class, from this short diary. He is evidently completely unobservant—mor

The Memory Table
April 18, 2011

Not every edition of the haggadah is quite as effective at making the past present as The Washington Haggadah. This beautifully produced book is a det

The Boulders
April 05, 2011

The literary career of Imre Kertész has been as full of improbable twists as any melodrama. It took him a decade to complete his first novel, an accou

When the Pot Melted
March 23, 2011

In 2005, George Bornstein published a scholarly article titled “The Colors of Zion: Black, Jewish, and Irish Nationalisms at the Turn of the Century.”

The Temple Mount in New York
March 09, 2011

For Michael Weingrad, it is precisely the marginality, even the perversity, of the American Hebraist project that makes it so immensely interesting. “

Beyond Idolatry
March 03, 2011

Foreign Bodies By Cynthia Ozick (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 255 pp., $26)  I. ‘There is no swarming like that of Israel when once Israel has got a start, and the scene here bristled, at every step, with the signs and sounds, immitigable, unmistakable, of a Jewry that had burst all bounds. ...

The Baffling Book
February 24, 2011

The Rise and Fall of the Bible is Timothy Beal’s attempt to shatter the popular understanding of the Bible as a combination of divine instruction manu

The Trouble With Anger
February 17, 2011

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!

The Thought Experiment
February 16, 2011

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

Ashen
January 13, 2011

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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