Leon Wieseltier
Literary Editor

All and Nothing at All
March 06, 1995

I. Keeping Faith: Philosophy and Race in America Routledge, 319 pp. $19, $16.95 paper Race Matters Beacon Press, 105 pp. $15  Beyond Eurocentrism and Multiculturalism. Volume One: Prophetic Thought in Postmodern Times Common Cause Press, 205 pp. $14.95 paper  Beyond Eurocentrism and Multiculturalism. Volume Two: Prophetic Reflections: Notes on Race and Power in America Common Cause Press, 244 pp. $14.95 paper  Prophetic Fragments William Eerdmans Publishing Co., 294 pp. $14.99 paper  The American Evasion of Philosophy:A Genealogy of Pragmatism University of Wisconsin Press, 279 pp. $16.95 pap

Against Identity
November 27, 1994

Every culture has its preferred description of the human distinction. These descriptions are analytical and homiletical. We call ourselves not only what we are, but also what we seek to be. This is stirring, but it is also corrupting. It allows us to see the one in the other, to mistake what we aspire to be for what we are. A good rule of thumb is: we are never already what we should be. In our culture, the preferred descriptions have included: the soul, the nous (and other appellations for the mind), the self, the ego, the person. In our time, the preferred description is: identity. In Americ

Bloodlust Memories
March 21, 1994

Clean Hands. In the course of many centuries, there were many crimes that Jews did not commit, but this was not least because they lacked the power to commit them. I remember the day that I discovered the obscure figure of Yusuf Asar. He appeared in a remarkable volume of Syriac Christian hagiographies, called Holy Women of the Syrian Orient. Yusuf Asar lived in the South Arabian kingdom of Himyar in the early sixth century. He was a Jew (or, according to the editors of the volume, "a Jewish upstart").

The True Fire
In defense of spiritual strangeness.
May 17, 1993

We Know the authentic effects of the true fire through every one of its million disguises.—Emerson

The Demons of the Jews
The rise of Meir Kahane is a boon to Jew haters and Arab haters alike
November 11, 1985

The rise of Meir Kahane is a boon to Jew haters and Arab haters alike.

Nuclear Idealism, Nuclear Realism
March 11, 1985

This week in Prague, Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a new version of the START treaty, renewing their commitment to nuclear arms reduction. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also unveiled newly built nuclear centrifuges. And, in a well-timed TNR cover story, Peter Scoblic posed the incisive, probing question: What good is the time-tested doctrine of deterrence in an era where rogue states and terrorists have ready access to nuclear material?

Pariahs and Politics
October 14, 1981

That was just Lamentations, it was not History...—Derek Walcott The idea of the responsible victim was conceived by Hannah Arendt to restore the honor of the Jews. Victimization is a disgrace; but there is no disgrace in action, or in taking the consequences. Arendt's view of Jewish complicity in the anti-Semitic crime ironically resembles the vulgar Zionist view which exaggerates the Jewish resistance to it. Both recoiled from the grim chronicle of helplessness that is more or less the political history of the Jews ("the extraordinary spectacle of a people...

Understanding Anti-Semitism
October 07, 1981

Ideas, in the last century, were the masters of facts, but in this century the facts have returned to haunt them. The duty of free minds once was to discover vast new conceptions of humanity which would free more minds and smash the tyrannies; but the tyrannies generally were not smashed, they were replaced, and the vast new conceptions only reshackled the minds they were meant to free. The duty of free minds now is to discover these facts.

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