Books

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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Women of skill reveal women of character

By Sipora Levy, December 10, 2015

The Greatest Need>
By Jasmine Donahaye
Honno, £10.99

Send Me a Parcel With a Hundred Lovely Things

By Carry Gorney
Ragged Clown (Carry-Gorney.co.uk), £11.99

These absorbing and enjoyable books have much in common. They are about creative, politically active women, daughters of Jewish immigrants, determined to live life on their own terms.

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Fantastic Miss Fox

By Angela Kiverstein, December 10, 2015

Watership Down was all very well but now it's the foxes' turn. Inbali Iserles's Foxcraft: The Taken (Scholastic, £5.99) follows Isla the cub as she tries to rejoin her family. Although Isla is, in some ways, almost too realistic a fox, her paws messy with chewed-up leftovers of a "rich, peppery" mouse-dinner, she also learns mystical foxcraft skills.

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A prelude to horror

By David Robson, December 3, 2015

The thousands of books, the billion-fold repetition of the word, the endless aggregation of memorialisation of the Holocaust can have a dulling rather than heightening effect. What more that is new can be said? What can we learn that we do not already know? What have we not seen? What have we not heard? How can those too young to remember - the vast majority - comprehend?

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Review: Let My People Go

By Colin Shindler, December 3, 2015

By Pauline Peretz (Trans: Ethan Rundell)
Transaction, £54.50

Joseph Stalin's last years were the "Black Years of Soviet Jewry". The trial and execution of the Yiddish writers, the Slansky trial of mainly Jewish Communists in Prague, and the infamous Doctors' Plot in January 1953, all characterised this period.

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Reviews: Don't Mention The Children and Notness

By Peter Lawson, December 3, 2015

Don't Mention the Children
By Michael Rosen
Smokestack Books, £8.95

Notness
By Richard Berengarten
Shearsman Books, £9.95

Michael Rosen is best known as a children's writer who, as the blurb to Don't Mention the Children rightly states, has mastered a "childlike seriousness", blending innocence with experience.

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At the end of a world

By Stoddard Martin, December 3, 2015

All For Nothing, by the late Walter Kempowski, now revived by Granta (£14.99), is set in a run-down manor near a main thoroughfare in East Prussia in January 1945. Its protagonists are normal, civilised yet blinkered gentry. The fearful thing is the approach of a vengeful Red Army.

Life in the manless household is relatively easy.

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