The Jewish Preview of Books—December 2018
Each month brings scores of new books of Jewish interest. Here are a few we can’t wait to read this December. And who knows, maybe you’ll find the perfect last-minute Hanukkah gift here as well!
In Memory of Judah Maccabee
That Judah, the great victor of the Hanukkah story, ultimately died fighting the Seleucids is something that surprisingly few Jews know. And were the Maccabees actually underdogs?
Raising the Asmonean Banner
Two teenaged sisters wrote surprisingly sophisticated and moving poetry about the Maccabees and a medieval massacre.
Gil Troy and Allan Arkush on Troy’s new book, The Zionist Ideas.
We Do Not Agree on Herzl and We Still Need Hertzberg
While I would like to leave this issue behind us, I have to add one more thing.
We Agree on Herzl
You know a review has turned mean-spirited when you’re indicted for crimes you quite carefully didn’t commit.
Of Were-Owls and Wandering Jews
There were two Jewish shape-shifters in my Faerie and Zion reading this month.
Return to Me
Chaim Potok was a talented polymath. But plays, too—who knew?
“The Cruiser” and the Jews
O’Brien himself didn’t consider his history of Zionism to be anything more than a bit of haute vulgarization, but it is much more than that. It is one of those uncommon works of political history in which a man who knows how the world works tells a great story with dazzling literary skill.
Bellow, His Biographers, and the “Quivering Schmucks”
Many authors have passionate readers, but few have drawn as many self-consciously nutty fans as Saul Bellow.