Books

Soldier’s tale? No, just war tourism lit

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 11, 2009

There is nothing unusual about Seth Freedman’s story (Can I Bring My Own Gun? Five Leaves/Guardian Books, £8.99). Young British Jew leaves life of comfort to follow his Zionist ideals. Emigrates to Israel, joins the army (15 months in uniform giving him a lifetime’s supply of anecdotes), then, back on civvie street, he begins asking himself questions and becomes disillusioned with most of those ideals.

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Book Review: Voodoo Histories

By Adam Lebor, June 11, 2009

Voodoo Histories
By David Aaronovitch
Jonathan Cape, £17.99

Who is this so-called “David Aaronovitch”? A high-profile columnist for the Jewish Chronicle, part of the British arm of ZOG — the Zionist Occupation Government — Aaronovitch also writes for The Times, which is controlled by the Australian Rupert Murdoch, a senior member of The Illuminati. A former communist turned liberal, Aaronovitch may even be Elder of Zion number seven, in charge of propaganda and disinformation.

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interview: Sana Krasikov - Georgia’s on her mind

By Francesca Segal, June 11, 2009

Sana Krasikov is remarkably upbeat for someone recovering from swine flu. But then, she has a great deal to buoy her up — named by the National Book Foundation as one of the most promising writers under 35, she has just won a $100,000 prize awarded by the Jewish Book Council for her debut short-story collection, One More Year, and the critical response has been correspondingly phenomenal.

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Reviews: Becoming English and Black Orchids

By Madeleine Kingsley, June 4, 2009

Becoming English
By Eva Tucker
Starhaven, £9

Black Orchids
By Gillian Slovo
Virago, £7.99

‘The past”, as LP Hartley movingly wrote, “is another country”. For Eva Tucker and Gillian Slovo, that “otherness” was more than mere metaphor. Uprooted from their countries of birth (Tucker, early, from Germany; Slovo, famously, from South Africa), both were transplanted here to a shock reality that continues to imbue their writing.

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Flying (and sex) machines

By Stoddard Martin, June 4, 2009

Fighter heroes of WW1
By Joshua Levine
Collins, £8.99

Spitfire Girls
By Carol Gould
Arrow, £6.99

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Review: The Lost Ark Of The Covenant

By Simon Rocker, June 4, 2009

Tudor Parfitt,
HarperCollins, £9.99

The lost ark of Solomon’s Temple is Judaism’s equivalent of the Holy Grail, one of the prizes most eagerly sought by archaeological trophy-hunters. Every few years a book appears claiming to have discovered the missing artefact, out of circulation for 2,500 years.

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UK faith schools are not divisive

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 27, 2009

The riots that took place in Bradford, Burnley and Oldham in 2001, followed by the terrorist attacks in the USA later that year and in London in 2005, combined to bring about fundamental changes in British educational policy and in the manner in which British citizenship is officially articulated. In concluding that all these events involved Islamist extremists, we need not ignore the genuine grievances of, particularly young, Muslims.

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Review: Under a Mushroom cloud: Europe, Iran and the Bomb

By Ali Ansari, May 27, 2009

By Emanuele Ottolenghi
Profile, £9.99

Emanuele Ottolenghi’s book is a curious mixture of plea and polemic, both supported with healthy doses of speculation. The plea — to European policy makers to prevent Iran building a nuclear arsenal — should be taken seriously, but so embedded is it within the polemic that it is in danger of being lost.

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Review: The Winter Vault

By Francesca Segal, May 27, 2009

By Anne Michaels
Bloomsbury, £16.99

Fans of Anne Michael’s have been holding their breath for a decade. Published in 1997, her first novel, Fugitive Pieces, won her several international awards as well as rapturous and near-universal critical acclaim. It holds an extraordinary position in contemporary fiction, spoken of with reverence — those who loved it felt changed by it.

Of course, there were those who could not see what all the fuss was about, and many who found her highly crafted, poetic language impenetrable. But, to her devotees, Fugitive Pieces was transcendent.

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Review: Shadow And Light

By David Herman, May 21, 2009

By Jonathan Rabb
Halban, £10.99

The ranks of good Jewish detective writers (Robert Towne’s screenplay for Chinatown, comes to mind, along with the Coen brothers and Michael Chabon’s Yiddish Policemen’s Union) are fairly thin on the ground, reason enough to welcome Jonathan Rabb’s Shadow and Light, the second in his police trilogy set in interwar Berlin.

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