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Tyranny, Trump, and Anti-Trump

New books attempt to answer: Is the American president a tyrant? And if so, what kind?

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Three Coins and You’re Married

A manuscript sheds light on a 16th-century tale of Jewish love and betrothal

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The Meaning of Bad Sex

#MeToo spawns a literature

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My Favorite Singer Brother, I.J.

Was Isaac Bashevis’ older brother Israel Joshua Singer the better novelist?

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Aharon Appelfeld’s ‘To the Edge of Sorrow’

The Israeli master’s latest novel to be translated to English is about the intricate work of forging a community, and a national narrative

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The Zionist X-Ray

How a secure Israel brought out the best—and worst—of political Arab men of letters

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Adonis in Jerusalem

A Syrian-born poet resembles Arab literary men of the ancient past

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The Boats of Cherbourg

The dramatic Christmas Eve, blockade-busting escapade that delivered game-changing French missile boats to Israel’s navy 50 years ago today

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Chrismukkah in Texas

In an excerpt from ‘Christmas in Austin,’ the Essinger family sings ‘O Hanukkah’ at their Texas tree-lighting party

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Lucy Dawidowicz, the Yiddish Eagle of the Bronx

The strong-willed scholar of Jewish life and history died 29 years ago today

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John Rawls’ ‘A Theory of Justice’ and Jewish Heresy

How the liberal philosopher came to reject Judaism’s ideals of merit and chosenness in favor of progressive justice

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Teaching Hebrew to the Puritans

Judah Monis and the failure of evangelizing translation as a spiritual exercise in early colonial America

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‘Lamed Vav.’ Google It.

Finally, a potboiler religious action-thriller novel built around an ancient Jewish mystery, in Steven Pressfield’s ‘36 Righteous Men’

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How Mike Nichols Met Elaine May

In an excerpt from the oral history ‘Life Isn’t Everything,’ the late actor and film director is taken by the only other person on campus who was as hostile as he was

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Hebrew Poet

The Romantic poet’s underappreciated collaboration with the pioneering Hebrew scholar Hyman Hurwitz made him more of a Hebraist than most readers know

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Q&A: Anne Fadiman, on Loving Wolfenstein

The writer and teacher talks about her wordsmith father, Clifton Fadiman, the middlebrow culture of his radio show ‘Information Please,’ and why being an assimilated Jew is not equivalent to having no legs

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The Religion of Liberal Democracy

How the Dreyfus affair inspired sociologist Émile Durkheim, who died 102 years ago today, to develop an original, provocative, and optimistic view of the French Republic and the rights-bearing individual

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Kapos

After the war, could Jews be found guilty of partnering with the Nazis? Dan Porat’s insightful ‘Bitter Reckoning’ seeks an answer.

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Meghan Daum’s ‘The Problem With Everything’

Is there room in the culture anymore for nuance?

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The Omni-Americans

Fifty years after his landmark book of essays on race, culture, and the ‘social science paradigm,’ the late, great critic and career Air Force officer Albert Murray speaks loudly to today’s divided United States

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Hitler’s Teeth

The remarkable tale of Elena Rzhevskaya, the Jew who identified the fuehrer’s remains—and sat on the secret for decades

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The Spy and Her Daughter

How Russian Jewish socialists found their cause in Communism, in an excerpt from ‘The Spy Who Changed History’

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Spies in the Basement

The extraordinary true cloak-and-dagger tale of how a chance encounter in a London bookstore made peace possible, on the 25th anniversary of the Israel-Jordan accords

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Jews of Kansas

Ben Lerner’s new ‘The Topeka School’ and the problem of masculinity

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Self-Portrait in Black and White

The rewards of subordinating racial or ethnic identity, in the new memoiristic essay by the author of ‘Losing My Cool’

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Live a Little

Slip sliding away, in an excerpt from the Booker Prize winner’s latest comic novel

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The Jewish Half-Lives of Patrick Modiano

The Nobel laureate on the paper trail of evanescent French Jews, in ‘Family Record’

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Safed Kabbalah and Renaissance Italy

How Lurianic mysticism made its way to Europe—and back to the Middle East

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Turning History Into Fiction

Elias Khoury’s novelization of 1948 makes up more than just its characters and plot. Does it matter?

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A Plan for Peace

Is America about to adopt the Israeli prime minister’s 20-year-old plan for a durable settlement between Israel and the Palestinians?

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