Books

My book is about love and not hate

By Monica Porter, January 7, 2016

The one fear that haunts Jews more than anything else - even more than the prospect of endless intifadas or of Iran building a nuclear bomb - is that of disappearing as a race, a culture and a religion, through the gradual, peaceful process of assimilation. In a nutshell, "marrying out".

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Notes From the Velvet Underground: The Life of Lou Reed

By John Belknap, January 7, 2016

Author: Howard Sounes

Doubleday, £20

If you are a Lou Reed fan, you will love this book. On the other hand, if you are a Lou Reed fan, you may hate this book, as it tracks in meticulous detail the miserable life of The Hateful Bitch, as one of his ex-friends described him.

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Review: Red Rosa

By Ivy Garlitz, January 7, 2016

By Kate Evans (Ed: Paul Buhle)
Verso, £9.99

Kate Evans's Red Rosa is a graphic biography of Rosa Luxemburg, socialist theorist and revolutionary leader. Born into a Jewish family in Zamosc, Poland, in 1871, Luxemburg struggled throughout her life to overcome prejudice and physical disabilities: a childhood hip ailment caused her to limp.

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Blind man with sharp vision

By Stoddard Martin, January 1, 2016

CaptivityBy György Spiró
Simon & Schuster, £20

The picaresque hero of this epic novel is a Roman Jew with slave pedigree. Through sage merchandising, his father has accumulated sufficient wealth to be able to float a loan to the spendthrift Agrippa, tipped as a future Jewish king.

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Three unlikeable characters, many irresistible twists

By Jennifer Lipman, January 1, 2016

The Age of ReinventionBy Karine Tuil
Scribner, £12.99

In retrospect, I should have seen it coming. Karine Tuil's new novel is so deliciously chock full of implausible twists and turns but I still should have anticipated where the story was headed.

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Spectacular example of a killing in the name of God

December 21, 2015

Killing a KingBy Dan Ephron
W W Norton, £17.99
Reviewed by Ahron Bregman

Killing a King is a tale of two stories: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's efforts to strike a peace deal with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat; and Israeli fanatic Yigal Amir's plans to murder Rabin.

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The indispensable idealist

December 21, 2015

Kissinger 1923-1968: The IdealistBy Niall Ferguson
Allen lane, £35
Reviewed by Vernon Bogdanor

Henry Kissinger, born in Bavaria to an Orthodox family, has been one of the most influential Jews - perhaps the most influential - in 20th-century America.

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The book reviews review 2015

December 16, 2015

Despite Jung's antisemitism - or perhaps because of it? - he was attracted sexually to Jewish women such as Sabina Speilrein and he chose Jewish men as father figures with whom he could fall out bitterly, as he quickly did with Freud.

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No more apprentices. The robots are coming for your jobs...

By Hester Abrams, December 14, 2015

'Help! Help! My son the doctor is drowning" or "You got an Ology? You're a scientist!" will definitely be Jewish jokes of the past if Richard and Daniel Susskind are right.

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Review: Proust: The Search

By David Herman, December 10, 2015

By Benjamin Taylor
Yale University Press, £16.99

It was perhaps the most astonishing dinner party of the 20th century. On May 18 1922, Marcel Proust attended a dinner in Paris to celebrate the première of Stravinsky's new ballet, Renard. Other guests included the Stravinskys, the Picassos, Diaghilev and James Joyce.

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