Life led in the Black

By Michael Freedland, January 14, 2016

Barrington Black was a successful solicitor who became a county court judge and was then called back from retirement to be a justice of the Supreme Court - at the age of 80 - in Gibraltar. It seems this (and the presidency of Western Marble Arch Synagogue) was not enough. For he has written his autobiography (Both Sides of the Bench, Waterside Press, £17.50) - and it's a joy.


Fired up to defend Britain

By Colin Shindler, January 14, 2016

The firefighters of Irish heritage during the 9/11 attack on New York were lauded for their courage and resilience. The tragedy drew public attention to the Irish tradition of serving in the New York City Fire Department - to save the lives of others at the risk of their own. It was important to commemorate their action and sacrifice in September 2001.


I've channelled my inner JK Rowling to write my son's perfect novel

By Dido Sandler, January 8, 2016

I was always a bit worried about my internet history. I mean, Edward Snowden's surveillance revelations hardly came as a huge surprise. But recently, well, with all the heightened awareness. I expect to hear the front door crashing in any minute.


My book is about love and not hate

By Monica Porter, January 7, 2016

The one fear that haunts Jews more than anything else - even more than the prospect of endless intifadas or of Iran building a nuclear bomb - is that of disappearing as a race, a culture and a religion, through the gradual, peaceful process of assimilation. In a nutshell, "marrying out".


Notes From the Velvet Underground: The Life of Lou Reed

By John Belknap, January 7, 2016

Author: Howard Sounes

Doubleday, £20

If you are a Lou Reed fan, you will love this book. On the other hand, if you are a Lou Reed fan, you may hate this book, as it tracks in meticulous detail the miserable life of The Hateful Bitch, as one of his ex-friends described him.


Review: Red Rosa

By Ivy Garlitz, January 7, 2016

By Kate Evans (Ed: Paul Buhle)
Verso, £9.99

Kate Evans's Red Rosa is a graphic biography of Rosa Luxemburg, socialist theorist and revolutionary leader. Born into a Jewish family in Zamosc, Poland, in 1871, Luxemburg struggled throughout her life to overcome prejudice and physical disabilities: a childhood hip ailment caused her to limp.


Blind man with sharp vision

By Stoddard Martin, January 1, 2016

CaptivityBy György Spiró
Simon & Schuster, £20

The picaresque hero of this epic novel is a Roman Jew with slave pedigree. Through sage merchandising, his father has accumulated sufficient wealth to be able to float a loan to the spendthrift Agrippa, tipped as a future Jewish king.


Three unlikeable characters, many irresistible twists

By Jennifer Lipman, January 1, 2016

The Age of ReinventionBy Karine Tuil
Scribner, £12.99

In retrospect, I should have seen it coming. Karine Tuil's new novel is so deliciously chock full of implausible twists and turns but I still should have anticipated where the story was headed.


Spectacular example of a killing in the name of God

December 21, 2015

Killing a KingBy Dan Ephron
W W Norton, £17.99
Reviewed by Ahron Bregman

Killing a King is a tale of two stories: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's efforts to strike a peace deal with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat; and Israeli fanatic Yigal Amir's plans to murder Rabin.


The indispensable idealist

December 21, 2015

Kissinger 1923-1968: The IdealistBy Niall Ferguson
Allen lane, £35
Reviewed by Vernon Bogdanor

Henry Kissinger, born in Bavaria to an Orthodox family, has been one of the most influential Jews - perhaps the most influential - in 20th-century America.