Books

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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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."

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Born Survivors: the story of three lives that emerged within temples of hell

By Natasha Lehrer, June 7, 2015

The handsome man in uniform tweaked at their flesh as the women stood, shivering and ashamed, trying to shield their naked, newly shaven bodies from his gaze.

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A colourful mystery: The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild

By Joy Sable, June 6, 2015

At one time or another, we have all surely harboured that Antiques Roadshow fantasy: the old painting gathering dust in the loft turns out to be a lost masterpiece worth millions. For Annie McDee, heroine of Hannah Rothschild's The Improbability of Love (Bloomsbury, £14.99), the chance acquisition of a centuries-old revered work of art is a mixed blessing.

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Review: Goebbels

By Ben Barkow, June 5, 2015

Confronting this huge volume, written by the German historian Peter Longerich, I found it hard to believe that this much new information could have been uncovered about Goebbels. It seems like scholarship to be weighed by the kilo rather than by the insight. And indeed I doubt that reading every page of it will change your understanding of the Nazi regime or the Holocaust.

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How an 'ology' brought me fame and riches

By Richard Phillips, May 28, 2015

Twenty eight years ago, I sat in my office in the J Walter Thompson advertising agency in Berkeley Square and bashed out a script for a British Telecom commercial. It contained this scene:

Grandmother to disconsolate grandson telling her about his GSCE results: "An ology? He got an ology!

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