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Léon Blum: Prime Minister, Socialist, Zionist, Tireless Champion, Proud Jew

An excerpt from Pierre Birnbaum’s new biography of the French titan

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Even Einstein Was Not Immune to Academic Jockeying

An excerpt from Steven Gimbel’s new biography of the great scientist follows his quest for a permanent position, through Zurich after 1909

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Why Mark Rothko Dropped Out of Yale

An excerpt from Annie Cohen-Solal’s new biography of one of the most influential American painters of the 20th century

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‘Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel,’ by Anita Shapira

An excerpt from a new biography of the great Israeli statesman, David Ben-Gurion

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‘Leonard Bernstein: An American Musician,’ by Allen Shawn

In an excerpt from a new biography, the great showman asks, ‘What does music mean?’

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‘David: The Divided Heart,’ by David Wolpe

An excerpt from a new analysis of King David, the biblical poet-hero

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Sigmund Freud Tried Thwarting Biographers. That Didn’t Stop Adam Phillips.

The esteemed author talks about all the reasons the founder of psychoanalysis would have objected to a new examination of his life

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‘Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst,’ by Adam Phillips

An excerpt from a new biography of young Sigmund Freud explores how the Dreyfus Affair affected the thinker

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‘Jabotinsky: A Life,’ by Hillel Halkin

An excerpt from a new biography of Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder of right-wing Zionism

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Was the Gaon a Genius?

Eliyahu Stern’s new biography makes an ambitious case for Elijah of Vilna as the Jewish Beethoven

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Are Books All We Have Left?

A masterful encyclopedia sums up our history and culture but raises the question of where Jewishness lies today

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Portnoy’s Complaint, in Analysis

Hebrew University professor Bernard Avishai’s playful new critical look at Philip Roth’s 1969 classic digs deep into the novel’s neurotic passion