A Conversation with Leon Wieseltier
In December 2014, at the annual Association for Jewish Studies conference, Abraham Socher sat down for a public conversation with Leon Wieseltier. It was, as it happens, just after the much-discussed New Republic debacle, and Wieseltier, who had served as TNR’s literary editor for the last 31 years, was characteristically witty and reflective. They talked about his teacher the great historian Yosef Yerushalmi, David Ben-Gurion’s grammatical precision, the cultural responsibilities of intellectuals, and much else. Please enjoy the video, below.
The Mocker and the Makhers
Herman Mankiewicz's life wasn't all drunken bets and witty repartee. After all, he wrote Citizen Kane. Life in 1930s "Eretz Demille."
The First Amendment and the Vocabulary of Freedom
Oral arguments in a case involving two Catholic schools sometimes sounded less like a jurisprudential clash over the First Amendment than a synagogue kiddush.
Before the Big Bang
Cosmologist Lawrence Krauss is quite sure he knows how the universe began. Novelist Alan Lightman takes a wild narrative guess. But where does the Kabbalah stand?
The Jewish Critic and the Devil’s Point of View
We have never met this Mendele before, but he expects us to trust him, appreciate his wit, catch his references, and share his attitudes. In a few deft lines, the author created a figure so democratic you don’t have to look up to him, so familiar you don’t have to fear him, and so appealing you won’t realize you’re being flogged.
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