Books

Hypocrisy stripped naked

By Francesca Segal, August 8, 2008

First, let's be clear - I adore Julie Burchill. She's fearless, feminist, razor-sharp, frequently makes me laugh in the best way possible: while making a damn good point. I could kiss her feet with thanks for being a lone, brave, sane voice supporting the Middle East's only true democracy in the face of an epidemic of impossibly trendy, uber-left anti-Israel bile-spitting. If Julie Burchill published her shopping list, I'd buy it.

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Review: Baby Love

By Miriam Shaviv, August 1, 2008

Baby Love: Choosing motherhood after a lifetime of ambivalence

 

By Rebecca Walker
Souvenir Press, £15

 

How does a woman preserve her sense of self after becoming a mother? This is the question that shapes Rebecca Walker's provocative pregnancy diary.

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Review: Clive Sinclair’s True Tales Of The Wild West

By David Herman, August 1, 2008

By Clive Sinclair
Picador £9.99

Part-fiction, part-history, Clive Sinclair's new book is hard to categorise, but one thing is certain, it has a great subject - the heyday of the Wild West. Here are all the familiar names: Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, Billy the Kid and Geronimo, Dodge City and Custer.

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The Hendon cowboy blowing holes in Wild West mythology

By Ben Silverstone, July 25, 2008

We meet a leading Anglo-Jewish writer who has poured his Western-loving heart into his new book

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Review: Golda Meir: The Iron Lady Of The Middle East

By Ahron Bregman, July 25, 2008
By Elinor Burkett
Gibson Square, £17.99

Golda Meir, Israel's fourth Prime Minister, whose premiership ran from 1969 to 1974, was admired throughout the western world, though less so in post-1973 Israel.

Despite suffering from cancer, she was called out of retirement at the age of 70 to fill the Prime Ministerial post following the death of Levi Eshkol and thus save the party a succession war between arch rivals Moshe Dayan and Yigal Allon that could have torn it apart.

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A family traced back with tears

By Michelene Wandor, July 25, 2008

Nancy Kohner's memoir My Father's Roses (Hodder & Stoughton, £18.99) was completed in touching and distressing circumstances. Kohner's daughter, Bridget McGing, describes in a prologue her mother's death from cancer in 2006, a week after finishing the manuscript.

Although the book follows the trajectory of a post-Holocaust story, it is more than that. Kohner organised a vast jumble of family letters, diaries and papers, which took months to translate. Her additional research involved returning to Prague 40 years after her family's departure.

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Review: Touching Distance

By Madeleine Kingsley, July 18, 2008

By Rebecca Abrams
Macmillan, £12.99

The author of When Parents Die blends history and fiction in the story of a doctor battling 18th-century medical mores


That naches follows new birth is our 21st-century norm. Not so in 1790 Aberdeen, where delivery led to a shattering succession of maternal deaths.

Rebecca Abrams’s first novel puts fictionalised flesh on the real-life records of that puerperal fever epidemic and its unsung physician hero Alec Gordon who, way ahead of his time, fathomed its cause and likely cure.

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Review: Sashenka

By Francesca Segal, July 18, 2008

By Simon Montefiore
Bantam Press, £12.99

Simon Sebag Montefiore has achieved international success with his accessible and engaging historical biographies, Catherine the Great and Potemkin; Stalin: The Court of the Red Star; and Young Stalin. In what must be a rare triumph for a historian, he has even sold the film rights to Young Stalin — to Miramax.

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Review: The Butt

By Lawrence Joffe, July 18, 2008

By Will Self
Bloomsbury, £14.99

Smoking can damage your health; but giving up could adversely affect your sanity. In fact, the discarded fag-end of the opening pages in Will Self’s latest novel is a mere bit-player in a romp covering much more than the question of whether to puff or not to puff. The real butt in this moral tale is Self’s anti-hero, Tom Brodzinski, a whipping boy for the world’s problems.

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Review: Gideon's Spies

By Ahron Bregman, July 11, 2008

By Gordon Thomas
JR Books, £16.99

Nine years after reviewing Gideon’s Spies, Gordon Thomas’s book about the Mossad, for the JC, I am holding a new, updated and much expanded version. Thomas is a talented writer and his is an irresistibly exciting subject. But, in my view, if I am to find space for it on my bookshelf then it will probably go in the fiction, rather than the non-fiction section.

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