Books

A man, a boy, and a story about autism

By Gerald Jacobs, March 23, 2016

Former JC journalist Jem Lester is clear about the distinction between - on the one hand - himself and his severely autistic son, Noah, and - on the other- Ben Jewell, the protagonist of Lester's debut novel Shtum, and his severely autistic son, Jonah.

More..

Sweetness of breath

By Sipora Levy, March 23, 2016

Breathe, by Leila Segal (Lubin & Kleyer £6.99) is a stunning debut collection of short stories set in Cuba.

More..

Review: Hamlet: Fold on Fold

By David Herman, March 23, 2016

By Gabriel Josipovici
Yale University Press, £20

For more than 40 years, Gabriel Josipovici has been one of Britain's most interesting literary critics. He writes clearly and accessibly, free of jargon and he has a formidable range of interests, from the Hebrew Bible to Modernism, from Kafka to Borges.

More..

Review: Broken Vows: Tony Blair - the Tragedy of Power

By Vernon Bogdanor, March 23, 2016

By Tom Bower
Faber & Faber, £20

Oscar Wilde once said that every great man has his disciples, but it is always the Judas who writes the biography. Tom Bower, an investigative journalist, was never a disciple of Blair's, though he voted for him in 1997 and supported the Iraq war. He is now thoroughly disillusioned.

More..

Review: Mossad

By Ahron Bregman, March 17, 2016

By Michael Bar-Zoharand Nissim Mishal

The Robson Press, £9.99

It is quite difficult to review, let alone write, books such as Mossad (sub-titled The Great Operations of Israel's Secret Service), as both authors and reviewers are often in the dark, confronted by a lack of information.

More..

Review: Groucho Marx:The Comedy of Existence

By Clive Sinclair, March 17, 2016

By Lee Siegel

Yale University Press, £16.99

Despite the fact that Groucho Marx appears in Yale's Jewish Lives series, it is far from being a conventional biography. If it's the facts you're after, the Das Kapital of Marxist studies remains Simon Louvish's Monkey Business: The Lives and Legends of the Marx Brothers.

More..

Vital tours by Cooks

March 17, 2016

What makes ordinary people embark upon the extraordinary? While others stood by as the Nazis began their systematic extermination of the Jews, some decent individuals had the courage to do whatever they could to rescue those destined for the gas chambers.

More..

What really makes a book Jewish?

By Hugo Rifkind, March 10, 2016

What makes a book a Jewish book? Does it have to be a book by a Jew, or can it simply be about Jews? Does it have to be a book by one person, but with two opinions, and perhaps three cars? Or, could it be a fairly universal book, of equal interest to all, but merely with a Jew in it? Page 173: a door opens, enter a man in a yarmulke. Is that enough?

More..

Review: Final Solution

By Ben Barkow, March 10, 2016

By David Cesarani
Macmillan, £25

Can the content of a book be entirely untouched by the circumstances of its writing? Surely not, and Final Solution is poignant for being shot through with the sense of an ending - tragically, David Cesarani did not live to see its publication.

More..

Review: Their Promised Land

By Julia Neuberger, March 10, 2016

By Ian Buruma
Atlantic Books, £18.99

Ian Buruma's moving love letter to his grandparents' memory is evocative and absorbing. I can just remember his grandparents - friends of my grandparents, though half-a-generation younger, and a whole generation more English.

More..