Review: The Paradox of Liberation

By David Conway, July 23, 2015

By Michael WalzerYale

University Press, £16.99

During the last century, many peoples under alien rule gained independence, usually after considerable, often violent, struggle, spearheaded by various nationalist groups.

Successful national liberation movements have typically had to fight against two principal foes.


Review: Between Gods

By Jennifer Lipman, July 14, 2015

Conversion is an emotive subject in Judaism, and rarely have I seen the complexity of joining our community better articulated than in Alison Pick's new memoir. Pick, a successful novelist here and in her native Canada, grew up without Judaism in her life and without any real hunger for it - or indeed for any organised religion.


The only SS judge who brought Nazis to trial

By Monica Porter, July 9, 2015

His SS Nazi Party identification card, dated 1936, shows a sombre-looking young man with short-cropped hair and round-rimmed spectacles. His rather protruding ears add to the air of 1930s dorkiness. Just another quasi-intellectual Nazi bureaucrat, you might think.


The wisdom of Judith Kerr

July 9, 2015

'We lived in a nice house with a garden in a Berlin suburb. We had friends and a dog (though I really wanted a cat) and seaside holidays and a very pleasant, normal life. My parents didn't read to me. We were a very literate household but I think the idea of bedtime stories was purely an English one in those days; this was the 1920s and 1930s!


Review: The 3rd Woman

By Alan Montague, July 9, 2015

Now that best-selling thriller writer "Sam Bourne" has been "outed", the owner of that pen name - Guardian executive editor and JC columnist Jonathan Freedland - is no longer wrapping himself in mystery.


Mapping an age of war

By Tim Marshall, July 9, 2015

Making sense of the world's myriad conflicts is difficult at the best of times. Without a map, and an explanation of geography, it is almost impossible. Words can tell you what is happening, the map helps you to understand why it is happening.


Review: Sylvia

By Stoddard Martin, July 8, 2015

Leonard Michaels was born in New York in 1933 and spent his last decade in Tuscany. He spoke Yiddish until he was six and a good deal of Italian before he died. In the half-century between, he wrote in English and taught literature at the University of California at Berkeley. Some claim him as one of the masters of style of his period.

That style is unadorned.


Review: The Seven Good Years

By David Herman, July 8, 2015

Etgar Keret is trying to explain to his little boy why fathers protect their sons: "'The world we live in can sometimes be very rough. And it's only fair that everyone who's born into it should have at least one person who'll be there to protect him.' 'What about you?'" Lev asks. "'Who'll protect you now that Grandpa's dead?'"


Review: The Invisible Collection

By David Herman, July 6, 2015

'It's good to have him back", Salman Rushdie wrote at the beginning of the Stefan Zweig revival. "Stefan Zweig just tastes fake," wrote the critic and translator, Michael Hofmann. "He's the Pepsi of Austrian writing."


A vanished Rothschild

By John Cooper, July 2, 2015

Nathaniel Mayer Rothschild, the first Lord Rothschild (1840-1915), better known as Natty, was the leader of British Jewry and perhaps of Jewish communities across the globe. In 1885, he was raised to the peerage on Gladstone's recommendation, becoming the first Jewish peer, and participated fully in British imperial expansion.