Reviews

In our submissions guidelines we say to reviewers that our goal is not to learn about the book (or movie, dance, play, etc.) being reviewed, but for the reviewer to use the book as a pretext to teach us something about the nature of reality as understood by the reviewer and perhaps stimulated by the book. A tall order. See how we are doing:

Most Recent Articles

Books

Beyond the Narrow Straits of Memory
by Jodi Eichler-Levine
We must face stories of suffering children, as well as the stories of suffering that we tell to children, in order to understand the religious tropes at work in American culture…. By facing our wounds across boundaries, we can struggle toward the blueprints of rebuilding our memoryscape.
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Books

To Deserve Such Pain
by James Wallenstein
During his lifetime, Leonid Tsypkin, who survived Hitler and Stalin only to face the sterility to post-war Soviet life, was forced to write “for the drawer.” Discovered by today's audience, his style, which blurs the background while simultaneously capturing the specific, has special resonance in an age of near-total surveillance.
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Books

A Painful Past Remembered from Within: Frederic Tubach’s Book on the German Experience During the Third Reich
by Sunny Solomon
At once a crash course in the history of Nazi Germany and a weaving together of non-Jewish Germans’ personal recollections, German Voices conveys a sense of what life was like for the average person living under Hitler. While acknowledging that no amount of understanding or empathy can heal the generational wounds of the Holocaust, Tubach nevertheless brings an identifiable human dimension to a period of history that is often dismissed as too horrific to comprehend.
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Books

Dream-Wizardry: A Collaboration Between Rodger Kamenetz and Michael Hafftka
by Emily Warn
Jacob and Joseph begat Freud who begat Jung, who begat the poet Rodger Kamenetz and the visual artist Michael Hafftka. Their collaborative wizardry, published in the book To Die Next To You, is stunning. The poems and drawings (always paired) create vivid, waking dreams on psychological and spiritual subjects—dreams that are as resistant and open to interpretation as Pharaoh’s.
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Books

Very Much Present at the Creation: John Judis’s Book on American Jews and the Establishment of Israel
by Paul Scham
Judis’s Genesis, which stresses the importance of American Jewish/Zionist activism and lobbying in persuading President Harry Truman to support the establishment of a Jewish state, is not that different from the received narrative. What is different is that Judis makes explicit that he doesn’t understand how American Jewish liberals could so completely forsake their liberal ideas in opposing Palestinian efforts to retain their homeland.
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Books

Alona Kimhi’s Magical Brutalism
by Joshua Bernstein
Lily La Tigresse is unsparing in its critique, but it's also seminal in terms of launching its indictment of Israel—a society that, in Kimhi's view, is no more generous or compassionate than the barbarous terrain of Europe, not to mention the U.S.S.R.
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Books

Doing Justice in an Unjust World
by Thad Williamson
Thad Williamson reviews Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation by Cynthia D. Moe-Lobeda.
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Books

Woolf, West, and the Conundrum of Veterans
by Joshua Bernstein
Arguably the two most immediate—and in my judgment, truest—books from the Great War, in spite of Hemingway's assertion that there were none, were written by authors who not only never set foot on the battlefield; neither of them was a male.
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Culture

Where Is Home? A Revolution in Our Personal Lives
by Harriet Fraad
Harriet Fraad reviews books by Eric Klinenberg, Arlie Russell Hochschild, Hannah Rosin, and Charles Murray.
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Culture

Democratizing Wealth, Democratizing Power
by Thad Williamson
Thad Williamson reviews What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution by Gar Alperovitz.
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