Books

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.

More..

Review: Saint Mazie

By Kate Saunders, June 30, 2015

Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg (Serpent's Tail £12.99) is a heart-wringing novel inspired by an essay called Mazie in Joseph Mitchell's celebrated book of New York stories, Up in the Old Hotel. Attenberg's wondrous imagination breathes real life into the histories of people who have vanished into the past; the homeless, hungry victims of the Great Depression.

More..

Review: You Are Dead

By Alan Montague, June 25, 2015

The latest outing for mega-selling Peter James's Brighton detective Roy Grace - You Are Dead (Macmillan, £20) - finds him faced with the nightmare all homicide police dread: a serial killer.

More..

Review: Operation Thunderbolt

By Robert Low, June 25, 2015

The daring rescue of nearly 100 hostages by Israeli special forces from Entebbe International Airport, Uganda, in 1976 marked a watershed in the global fight against terrorism and a turning-point for Israel, too. Until then, plane hijackings, pioneered by the Palestinians and enthusiastically taken up by sympathetic terrorist groups, were rife and usually successful.

More..

Review: Israel Since the Six-Day War

By David Goldberg, June 25, 2015

To amplify Ecclesiastes, "Of making many books about Israel there is no end". Reading this latest addition to the plethora, from Leslie Stein, I had the vague feeling that perhaps I had reviewed a previous book of his.

More..

He seized the day as both man and jerk

By David Herman, June 25, 2015

As he lay dying, Saul Bellow asked a friend: "Was I a man or a jerk?" The case for the prosecution would argue he had five marriages, four ending in divorce, numerous affairs, and was too self-absorbed to be much of a father. "He had a biblical Old World morality," said one woman who encountered him, "but his fly was entirely unzipped at all times."

More..

Disarming the holy warriors

By David-Hillel Ruben, June 17, 2015

J onathan Sacks's splendid new book moves on three levels - a socio-political, explanatory level; a level of textual exegesis; and a philosophical-ethical level. In the first part, he mainly offers a theory about the roots of religious and other forms of social violence.

More..

Doctor with the nerve to produce literary treatments

By Daniel Snowman, June 17, 2015

I must start by declaring an interest. It was Oliver Sacks's mother, Muriel Elsie Landau, who helped bring me into the world. One of the first female surgeons in England, her special expertise was in obstetrics and gynaecology while she also found time to be an active Zionist and to work for many Jewish causes. "Miss Landau" was a name I learned to revere as a child.

More..

The Book of Aron: Atrocities sweetened for children

By David Herman, June 13, 2015

There is a growing genre of children's fiction about the Holocaust. In the past 10 years or so, we have had huge best-sellers like Markus Zusak's The Book Thief and John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Now we have Jim Shepard's The Book of Aron (Quercus, £18.99).

More..

Tellers of teenage tales

By Angela Kiverstein, June 10, 2015

When Keren David set out to write This is Not a Love Story (Atom, £6.99), her intention was "to write a book about mainstream Anglo-Jewish teenagers because there weren't any in the books I read when I was growing up, and hadn't been any since. We talk a lot about diversity in children's books and this was a glaring absence."

More..