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.

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.

Coming of Age

And This Is the Light, the sole novel by the prolific Israeli writer Lea Goldberg, recently released in English, imagines adolescence and romance on the verge of World War II in Lithuania

Ballet Master

In the new biography René Blum and the Ballets Russes: In Search of Lost Life, the early 20th-century impresario—who died at Auschwitz and symbolizes the tragedy of French Jewry—remains a riddle

By the Book

In The Bible Now, two scholars look for modern answers to pressing political questions—from gay marriage to capital punishment—in the Bible. The problem is that such an exercise is unnecessary.

Lost and Found

In The Lost Children, Tara Zahra tells the heartbreaking stories of child survivors of World War II, whose fate was often decided by ideological battles, policy debates, and lingering ethnic tensions

Telling Tales

A pound of flesh, a lion with a thorn in his paw, an all-powerful book—a new collection of Jewish folktales from Arab lands sheds light on the universality of the genre

Remembered

In Departures, half-forgotten poet-critic Paul Zweig—who died in 1984 at the age of 49—recalls the decade he spent in Paris on the run from and in search of his Jewish self

Her Own Light

A new biography tries to untangle painter Lee Krasner from the husband whose outsize personality and paint-splattered canvasses left her in the shadows

Frenemies

An anthology on the concept of philo-Semitism shows that ‘Jew lovers’ have often been just a shade better than anti-Semites—and sometimes no better at all

Balkan Mystery

In Leeches, a novel by the Serbian Jewish writer David Albahari, Belgrade plays home to nationalists, anti-Semites, and kabbalistic puzzles

Three-Part Harmony

A new book shows how Nazism and the Ku Klux Klan prompted the American establishment to look beyond longstanding divisions and see Catholics, Protestants, and Jews as kin

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