Books

Lively but flawed analysis of why and how the Holocaust could have happened

By Bernard Wasserstein, September 2, 2015

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and WarningBy Timothy Snyder
Bodley Head, £25
Reviewed by Bernard Wasserstein

The term "Black Earth" is often used to designate the rich agricultural areas of southern Russia.

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Children's Books: Hostage heroism

By Angela Kiverstein, August 30, 2015

Amid a summer riot, five teenagers take a civil servant hostage. William Sutcliffe's Concentr8 (Bloomsbury, £12.99) is set in a disturbingly recognisable Britain where the government has been unscrupulously doling out ADD drugs but has suddenly withdrawn supplies. Sutcliffe alternates between the voices of the listless lawbreakers, a journalist, a negotiator and a floppy-haired mayor.

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Geoffrey Munn - a world authority on Faberge jewellery and the Wartski dynasty

By Gerald Isaaman, August 28, 2015

There is that moment of excitement on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow when someone in the crowd comes forward with a sparkling jewel that turns out to be the real thing worth thousands. And more often than not, it is the affable, forever smiling Geoffrey Munn who reveals the unknown story behind the gem.

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Review: Antisemitism: The Oldest Hatred

By Marcus Dysch, August 28, 2015

John Mann is an unlikely candidate to lead the fight against antisemitism in Britain. A blunt-speaking Yorkshireman who sits on Labour's back benches, the Bassetlaw MP came to the cause a decade ago without any apparent prior qualification or motivation. He has subsequently become one of the country's foremost experts on the fight against Jew-hatred.

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Review: Anti-Judaism - this isn't easy, bedtime reading

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 26, 2015

In the fourth century CE, two Christian theological giants, Saints Jerome and Augustine, engaged in an ill-tempered discussion about Jews and Judaism. Jerome accused Augustine of harbouring "Judaising" tendencies because he defended Jewish law; Augustine retaliated by revealing that Jerome was known to read texts in their original Hebrew, rather than in Greek translations.

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Natasha Solomons's The Song Collector: A slight discord

By Hester Abrams, August 25, 2015

In Natasha Solomons's The Song Collector (Sceptre, £16.99) the sons of a once grand Dorset family return home after the Second World War to find their country pile good for nothing except demolition.

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Review: Léon Blum

By Vernon Bogdanor, August 23, 2015

By Pierre Birnbaum
Yale University Press, £14.99

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Review: Going Up

By Daniel Snowman, August 20, 2015

By Frederic Raphael
The Robson Press, £25

Frederic Raphael's engaging new memoir tells us of his early years: "going up" to Cambridge and then, bit by bit, in the literary and cultural worlds to which he aspired.

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Innocence: Or, Murder on Steep Street

By Anne Garvey, August 6, 2015

By Heda Margolius Kovály (Trans: Alex Zucker)
Soho Press, £18.99

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A man with answers and a woman with questions

By David Goldberg, August 6, 2015

The Tail Wags the Dog
By Efraim Karsh
Bloomsbury, £25

Losing Israel
By Jasmine Donahaye
Seren, £12.99

It is a historian's old trick, popularised by A.J.P. Taylor, to take an accepted historical narrative and subvert it by arguing the opposite.

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