Books and Arts

David Novak is the J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. Jesus in the Talmud By Peter Schafer (Princeton University Press, 210 pp., $24.95) When The Passion of the Christ elicited such great public controversy a few years ago, it raised once again the old question of how Jews and Judaism are portrayed in classical Christian sources, first and foremost in the New Testament. And it raised the new question as to how accurately Mel Gibson's film represented that portrayal.

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Edward N. Luttwak is a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the author of Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace (Harvard University Press). Making War to Keep Peace By Jeane J. Kirkpatrick (HarperCollins, 384 pp., $26.95) Jeane J.

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Moliere Sony Pictures Classics My Best Friend IFC Films Naming NUmber Two Cyan Pictures Nearly ten years ago, when Shakespeare in Love came along, I felt that the more the viewer knew about Will's life, the more enjoyable the picture would be.

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Are exitways for the Soul-- and so the eyes half in awe, half-dazed to house so great a magnanimity never close. Rock god with your look of surprise. Be calm. The Soul peers out but rarely goes. By Geri Doran

Ingrid D. Rowland is based in Rome at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. History of the Art of Antiquity By Johann Joachim Winckelmann Translated by Harry Francis Mallgrave (The Getty Research Institute, 446 pp., $67.) Although Johann Joachim Winckelmann is often called "the father of modern art history," that paternal claim belongs by now to another generation.

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As the seventh and final installment in J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series hits bookstore shelves this weekend, the frenzy over the young magician and his chums appears set to reach even more spectacular heights. Scholastic, Harry Potter's U.S. publisher, ordered a first-run printing of 12 million copies, which may be the largest in world history. The series has already sold 325 million copies worldwide and been translated into 66 languages. And the Harry Potter films--the fifth of which was released last weekend--have grossed more than $3.8 billion globally.

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Black Noise

Don DeLillo's new book is not a 9/11 novel but a 9/11 short story, or perhaps a 9/11 poem.

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Getting to the End

The Road By Cormac McCarthy (Alfred A. Knopf, 241 pp., $24) IN ADDITION to the 9/11 novel, and the 9/11 novel that is pretending not to be a 9/11 novel, an old genre has been re-awakened by new fears: the post-apocalyptic novel (which may well be, in fact, the 9/11 novel pretending not to be one). The possibility that familiar, habitual existence might be so disrupted within the next hundred years that crops will fail, warm places will turn into deserts, and species will become extinct—that areas of the earth may become uninhabitable—holds and horrifies the contemporary imagination.

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Hatred’s homicidal. Hitler knows. He makes what most men mean by hate a tepid sentiment, though at the time, no one seemed inclined to notice, and I wondered, When will my Hungarians awaken? I waited for the Jews to rouse themselves. But only slowly were they moved to anger; even then most merely said, “depose the madman.” Moderation’s suicide. A whimper while the butcher spreads fresh paper. Even in translation in the Times, he aims his hate at me, my family trapped in Budapest. Our decades-old conversion meaningless.

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The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil By Philip Zimbardo (Random House, 551 pp., $27.95) WHY DO human beings commit despicable acts? One answer points to individual dispositions; another answer emphasizes situational pressures. In 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stressed the importance of individual dispositions in describing terrorists as “simply evil people who want to kill.” Situationists reject this view. They believe that horrible acts can be committed by perfectly normal people.

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