Review: Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan

By Sipora Levy, August 18, 2016

By Ruth Gilligan
Atlantic, £12.99

Ruth Gilligan has turned on its head the old adage that a novelist should write about what he or she knows. Instead, she has confidently written about what she wanted to know - namely, the history and experience of Jews living in Ireland.


Review: Zionism Without Zion

By Bryan Cheyette, August 18, 2016

By Gur Alroey
Wayne State Univ Press, £22.50

Gur Alroey is a historian based at Haifa University who has written two outstanding books on Jewish migration to Palestine in the early 20th century.


Descended from evil

By Angela Kiverstein, August 18, 2016

As we meet Max, he is clinging to his mother's womb, trying not to be born until past midnight. Then it will be April 20 and he will share his birthday with the man he calls father - the Führer.


Review: The Storyteller

By Stoddard Martin, August 12, 2016

By Walter Benjamin (Trans: various)
Verso, £12.99

This is a collection of incidental works by the multi-faceted thinker Walter Benjamin. Many were not published in his lifetime, which was short: 47 years, ending in suicide in Spain while trying to flee to America from Nazi-dominated Europe. Some are mere fragments, from as early as Benjamin's teenage years in his native Berlin.


Maimonides Between Philosophy and Halachah: Lectures on the Guide of the Perplexed

By David Conway, August 12, 2016

Lawrence Kaplan (Ed)
Ktav Publishing, £24.50

Moses Maimonides, or Rambam, as he is often called, wrote his Guide of the Perplexed to assuage the unease felt by many of his coreligionists at the apparent inconsistencies between science and philosophy on the one hand and the Torah on the other.


On the bookshelf

August 12, 2016

Suffering and suffragette
Later this month, Hutchinson are releasing Helen Rappaport’s Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd 1917, in which she conveys a view of the Russian Revolution through the eyes of foreign witnesses, including Emmeline Pankhurst from Britain.

Spirit of invention


Wandering into printed posterity

By Jenni Frazer, August 11, 2016

We've all been there, when we think about our grandparents: too often, we have left it too late to ask the right questions, and a generation's secrets and stories disappear.

But, in the past few years, some families have taken matters beyond the pedestrian question-and-answer and, instead, publish entire books about their history.


Left turn ahead

By Stephen M. Cullen, August 11, 2016

The Jewish contribution to the politics of the left has always been complex, sometimes contradictory and often of fundamental importance. Labour's current crisis is one more phase in a close and chequered relationship.

Left-leaning Jews have always been a minority within the Jewish community.


A case of a Fish(man) out of (Soviet) water

August 4, 2016

Don’t Let My Baby Do RodeoBy Boris Fishman
One, £12.99
Reviewed by David Hermanare

Boris Fishman's first novel, A Replacement Life, told the story of two generations of immigrants from the former Soviet Union now in New York. The New York Times called it "bold, ambitious and wickedly smart". That, if anything, understated the case.


Tale of fume and fury

By Jessica Weinstein, August 4, 2016

Forman's Games: The dark underside of the London Olympics
Biteback, £20