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‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ by Ferenc Molnar

Bookworm: The scoundrel hero of the Hungarian writer’s play ‘Liliom’ steals a star from heaven

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A Shared Debt: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Gershom Scholem

How Eichmann in Jerusalem led the thinkers into a principled disagreement over Zionism and universalism that ultimately broke their quarter-century bond

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Loopy Butt-Surgeon and Disgraced Ex-Journalist Meet in ‘The Chateau’

Bookworm: Paul Goldberg’s detective novel is hot on the trail of… the detective novel

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The Cross on Our Foreheads

The best Yiddish story ever written about a pogrom is by Lamed Shapiro, the early 20th-century American Yiddish writer who wanted the Jews to get woke

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The Big Q&A

Ep. 120: LGBTQ&A podcast host Jeffrey Masters and Anne Edelstein, author of Lifesaving for Beginners, plus Roy Moore’s ‘Jewish lawyer’

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A Last Conversation with Aharon Appelfeld

The great Jewish writer, who died this week at 85, on his linguistic and literary heritage, the Bohemian way, and the catastrophic modern break between Jews old and new

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A Cruel and Elusive Family History

Agata Tuszyńska’s ‘Family History of Fear’ and Ivan Jablonka’s ‘A History of the Grandparents I Never Had’ open old wounds

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Extreme Diamonds: Paul Valéry and the Last Centennial of 1917

The French poet saw the coming collapse of civilization. A hundred years later, his ‘The Young Fate’ rings true anew.

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My Old Kentoki Home

An enduring and strange epic poem about life in America in the early 20th century—for many Jewish immigrants, a true Promised Land

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‘Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins’ Is the True Story of Hanukkah

Bookworm: So what if the festival of lights has some magic?

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The Best Novel of 2017 That You Never Heard Of

Bookworm: Jacob M. Appel’s life-affirming elderly suicide novel ‘Millard Salter’s Last Day’ is a highwire act balancing tragedy and comedy

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Like a Roman Stone

Episode 113: Footsteps Executive Director Lani Santo and ‘Why Bob Dylan Matters’ author Richard F. Thomas

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A Tale of Sadomasochism and Coffee

The café as ‘safe space’ in interwar Vienna, in David Fogel’s Hebrew classic, ‘Married Life’

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Jews, the Smartest Stupid People on Earth

An amputated leg, a bitten-off penis, a 600-pound wrestler, and the great tonsil riot, among other examples of humanity’s glorious ineptitude, in ‘Bad Rabbi: And Other Strange But True Stories from the Yiddish Press’

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You Don’t Have to Write Like This

Bookworm: Benjamin Markovits’s newly relevant ‘social-realist-quasi-socialist-alternative-community’ Detroit novel could have been a good book

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Bad to the Bone

Episode 112: Bad Rabbi author Eddy Portnoy and Washington Post religion reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey

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Smoke in the Air

In the ‘cosmic and frightening’ Sapir Prize-winning The Ruined House, by Israeli expatriate Ruby Namdar, the secular modern world and the ancient divine mysteries coexist

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The Magic Mountain of Yiddish

Jacob Glatstein’s 1930s Yiddish novel ‘Homecoming at Twilight’ foresaw the coming doom

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The Jews Who Stabbed Germany in the Back

Seventy-nine years after Kristallnacht, ‘A Deadly Legacy,’ a new history of German Jewish soldiers during World War I, traces the origins of the European scapegoating that would engulf the continent some years later

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Raped By Carl Jung, Then Murdered by the Nazis

But the theft and erasure of Sabina Spielrein’s intellectual legacy by the psychoanalytic establishment may be an even more troubling crime

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A Noir Detective Named Bernie Solves Crimes in 1938 Berlin

Bookworm: The dude of Philip Kerr’s ‘The Pale Criminal’ abides—Nazis

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A Golem for Halloween

Bookworm: Gustav Meyrink’s 1914 novel is a spectacle of horror and backhanded anti-Semitism. What’s there to be afraid of?

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Progressive Anti-Semitism and Putin

In ‘Contemporary Left Antisemitism,’ David Hirsh compellingly traces a newly resurgent form of disinformation to its surprising enablers

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Winter Wonderland

Yiddish poet Avrom Sutzkever’s 1936 work ‘Siberia’ magically upends a litany of misery for him and his people

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The Sickening Cost of Lenin’s Revolution

Victor Sebestyen’s engaging ‘Lenin’ and Anne Applebaum’s meticulous ‘Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine’ help explain why a century later the central amorality of the unfulfilled Utopian ideal is still with us

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A Wannabe-Hardboiled-Jew Reads Raymond Chandler’s ‘The Long Goodbye’

Bookworm: Was the tough guy America’s greatest act?

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Nicole Krauss’ Dark Forest, aka the Tel Aviv Hilton

Bookworm: Entering the multiverse of alternate selves, a dissociative nightmare, to find a way in the woods

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Whitman and the American Revelation

The epiphany that led to a national literature’s single greatest achievement: tucked in a prosaic, newly discovered early novel are the seeds of ‘Leaves of Grass’

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