Adam Kirsch

Adam Kirsch is a contributing editor for Tablet Magazine and the author of Benjamin Disraeli, a biography in the Nextbook Press Jewish Encounters book series.

Sentimental Journey

In the new collected stories of Nathan Englander, and in his revised Haggadah, Jews cling tenuously to the easily broken chains of tradition

Half Human

The German Jewish writer Joseph Roth, whose letters are newly translated, chronicled the death of 19th century Europe and the rise of its darker heir

Framed

Robert D. Kaplan’s deification of John J. Mearsheimer in The Atlantic last week shows that the authors of The Israel Lobby are winning

Earthly Gardens

In The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Giorgio Bassani’s 1962 novel, an aristocratic Jewish family in Italy tries to wall itself off from the Holocaust

Whole in One

Two recent books consider whether Jewishness is a religion, a culture, a race, or some combination of the three. The answer may be none of the above.

No Exit

Life and Fate, Vasily Grossman’s indispensable account of the horrors of Stalinism and the Holocaust, puts Jewishness at the heart of the 20th century

The Art of Making Art

With Stephen Sondheim’s second collection of his lyrics, the hyper-articulate, neurotic, modernist master Broadway songwriter takes a curtain call

Children’s Books

Elie Wiesel’s Night and Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird established the child’s perspective as a useful lens for confronting the Holocaust

Seeing Double

A Jewish literature is easy to identify. But defining Jewish art is a task of Talmudic complexity, as a new book, Jewish Art, makes clear.

Pilgrim’s Progress

Creating Jewishness in a post-religious age: Leon Uris’ Exodus and S.Y. Agnon’s Only Yesterday paint Israel’s history in broad and fine strokes

No Escape

The American Jewish response to Sept. 11 interprets—but doesn’t explain—the anti-Semitism, trauma, and mourning that still linger after the attacks

Darling Wendy

A breathless biography of Wendy Wasserstein hints at the tensions in the playwright’s life but, like its subject, fails to confront them

Parlor Games

In his novel The Vices, Lawrence Douglas spins a Nabokovian web of intrigue and self-deception that hints at the way Jewish identity is constructed and performed

Jerusalem Stone

Robert Stone’s 1998 novel Damascus Gate sets spies, cultists, and terrorists loose in the Holy Land

Ordinary People

Two new books, The Druggist of Auschwitz and Reluctant Accomplice, offer true stories of average citizens’ divergent responses to Nazi rule. They help us examine our own rationalization of genocide.

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