A few years ago, after someone mentioned to me about the supposed rise of autism in Silicon Valley, I started reading every news story about autism I could find and downloading journal articles by the score. It soon became clear that the mysterious rise in diagnoses was not restricted to California, where I live.
One associates struggling young writers with Parisian garrets and La Bohème, but Vienna of the fin-de-siècle was perhaps their great heyday. Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Stefan Zweig apprenticed themselves there.
The Binding of Isaac, Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son, is one of the Bible's most iconic episodes. It is read from the Torah over the High Holy Days and even in the daily morning liturgy in some prayer books.
Why do Jews turn their backs on their religious and communal heritage and, in extreme cases, convert to other religions? Professor Todd Endelman sets out to answer these questions but - as he admits - the research is hampered both by the anecdotal, frequently suspect and inherently biased nature of some of the biographical evidence and by the lack of systematic quantitative data.
Children of the StoneBy Sandy Tolan
Reviewed by Norman Lebrecht
A London orchestral violinist I know spends her summer leave working with cancer kids in Africa. A French bassoonist takes a 100-kilometre run in support of an educational mission. An Australian violinist volunteers for Médecin sans Frontières.