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Idolizing Moses

An excerpt from Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg’s new biography of the looming figure of Jewish culture

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John Hughes for the Holidays

Jason Diamond’s wry memoir of 1980s Chicago (and 2010s Brooklyn) finds life landmarks in the awkward, lonely malcontents of The Breakfast Club and Planes, Trains and Automobiles

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Michael Chabon’s Apollo Mission to the Past

The new Moonglow is a novel in the form of a memoir, a superhero comic in the form of prose, and a paean to the fading Greatest Generation

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Q&A with Susan Faludi

For her latest book, the ‘haunting, urgent,’ In the Darkroom, the reporter goes digging to find her father, a Holocaust survivor who became transgender—and unearths a meditation on American and American-Jewish identity in what turns out to be the Age of Trump

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At Home in History, and Nowhere Else

Saul Friedländer’s ‘small masterpiece in the literature of the Holocaust’

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The God of Manga’s Jewish Masterpieces

On Osamu Tezuka’s 88th birthday, a look at the many ways the Japanese master told Jewish stories, and influenced the Jewish storytellers of America’s own comics boom

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The Jew Who Killed the Banks?

Alan Greenspan: genius or villain? A new biography, ‘The Man Who Knew,’ prosecutes and praises the conductor of a wild market ride

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The Secret Language of George Soros

Esther Schor’s lively and tragic new history of Esperanto, Ludwik Leyzer Zamenhof’s universal, pacifist, bridge-building language of humanity, traces why the globalist dream died

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The Book That Obama Won’t Read, But Hillary Clinton Should

Sixty years after the Suez Crisis, two new histories of the Egypt-Israel conflict try to garner lessons on the Mideast and American power in a changing world

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The 12 Covenants of Pinchas Hurwitz

How an 18th-century Eastern European kabbalist Jew produced one of the first Hebrew bestsellers

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Letters of Love and Rebuke From Rav Yitzchok Hutner

To truly know a rabbinical scholar, read his correspondence

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The Mother Tongue

In an excerpt from ‘The People and the Books,’ a portrait of Glückel of Hameln, the 17th-century Jewish woman whose access to Judaism’s foundational stories was through the Tsenerene, a Yiddish retelling of the Torah

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Heidegger Was Really a Real Nazi

Is the philosopher’s complexity enough to excuse his overt anti-Semitism? A dive into the so-called ‘black notebooks’ from the 1930s is revealing.

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‘Against Everything’ Is a Brilliant Exercise in Hope

Mark Greif’s thought-provoking new collection of essays defiantly refuses to lay waste our powers, getting and spending

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Jonathan Safran Foer’s Nice-Jewish-Boy Fiction

Campus Week: The bestselling writer’s ambitious new ‘Here I Am’ represents the triumph of sentimentality and sincerity over irony and anger, which is a great loss

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Persian Heretics and Heresies

Patricia Crone, the late scholar of Islam, fearlessly and rigorously explored the origins of Iran’s influential and mystical version of the religion

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The Sad, Short, Brilliant Life of Amy Levy, Female Victorian Jewish Novelist

Uncovering the real life behind a hugely popular Israel Zangwill character, 127 years after the night she committed suicide at age 27

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My Husband Quit Smoking, Then He Started Again

And that was fine with me: He was a 20th-century Jew

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Yuval Levin Isn’t Dumb

The new anti-government handbook ‘The Fractured Republic’ confuses a fantasized past for a utopian future

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Is It Time to Take the Most-Published Man in Human History Seriously?

A new biography of Jacob Neusner examines his ‘complicated, colorful, and unappreciated intellectual life’

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Reality Bites, for Immigrants With Smartphones

Lara Vapnyar’s ‘timely’ and ‘insightful’ new novel, ‘Still Here,’ wonders what the American dream looks like to former Russians

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Israeli Sci-Fi Is a Reality

The Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy celebrates 20 years of imagining the future

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The Unsettling Exploits of Daniel Silva’s Mossad Superspy

In the new thriller ‘The Black Widow,’ master Israeli agent Gabriel Allon is forced to confront hard questions about ISIS

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Germany and the Concept of Collective Guilt

Do only psychopaths commit horrible mass crimes, or are we all more responsible than we are willing to admit? Two new histories of the Nazi war machine examine their leaders—and their soldiers.

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Help, I’m a Prisoner in a Brain Lab

Alan Mittleman’s new study of Jewish philosophy ‘boils Bible stories and brain science into the message that there’s something holy in everything and everyone’—but can reason and faith coexist?

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Do We Really Want To Be Members of a Tribe?

Sebastian Junger’s fascinatingly wrong-headed ‘Tribe: on Homecoming and Belonging’

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Can Islam Be More Jewish?

In his new book ‘What Is Islam?,’ the late scholar Shahab Ahmed asks if it’s time to return to an idea of the religion that prizes more than just the Quran

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Leopold Weiss, the Jew Who Helped Invent the Modern Islamic State

‘Europe’s gift to Islam’ was born in Austria-Hungary 116 years ago this week. His ideas on the intersection of politics and religion are more relevant than ever.

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Hello, Gorgeous

This week on Unorthodox, humorist Mo Rocca discusses his love of Barbra Streisand, and Rebecca Schiff reads from her debut short-story collection

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Hot Dogs, the Jewish American Fast Food

The rollercoaster history of the wiener in a bun, in new books on the Coney Island institution, Nathan’s Famous

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