Allan Arkush

A Tale of Two Stories 

In their respective new books, Schama and Feiner attempt not to relate the whole history of the Jews during the period covered by their volumes but to tell their story—indeed, to a large extent, to let them tell their story in their own words, culled from their letters, diaries, and autobiographical works.

From the Great War to the Cold War

The facts of Hans Kohn’s life are so extraordinary that it almost seems as if the first half of one remarkable figure’s biography had been spliced together with another’s in the second part.

East Meets West

Following the Six-Day War, the East German government and the West German far left demonized Israel time and again, often vilely equating it with the worst thing in their own nation’s history: Nazism.

On the Importance of Booing Mayne Yiddishe Mame

How did Zionist elites create a new national identity for rank and file members whose ideals did not match their own?

Ike’s Bet and Nasser’s Vasser

 Could the hot dog-munching, movie-going young colonel named Nasser have become our man if we had tried harder to accommodate him at the very outset?

From Moses to Moses to Sholem Aleichem

Anyone looking for a single-volume introduction to Jewish civilization for a class full of highly educated professionals with only a limited knowledge of the subject will find nothing better in print.

Promised Land or Homeland?

The university presses of Cambridge and Oxford have released two new works of Jewish political theory that blend theoretical defenses of Zionism with robust critique of what Chaim Gans calls the “Zionist mainstream.”

A Mechitza, the Mufti, and the Beginnings of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

In his new book, Hillel Cohen offers an analysis of the Arab-Jewish violence of 1929 that goes very much against the grain of the usual Zionist narrative and even the non-partisan historical research concerning this period.

Oh, the Humanity!

Would the demise or even disappearance of human beings be, on the whole, a good thing. Yuval Noah Harari seems to think so, or is at least willing to entertain the thought.

Members of the Tribe

If an Israeli ambassador to the United States can’t consume ham in public, he may still have to engage in something like pork-barrel politics.

High Fives

The JRB editors celebrate our fifth anniversary with our top-five book lists.

Lands of the Free

It is sad to watch the territorialists engage in their wild goose chases all over the globe at a time when multitudes of Jews were in need of a place, any place, to go.

Do You Want to Know a Secret?

“Who’s this guy,” asked one of my sister’s friends, “who writes about secret truths? I can’t remember his name.”

And How Do You Like Israel?

The Six-Day War marked a critical turning point in the evolution of the Western world’s attitude toward Israel.

Zionism’s Forgotten Father

Nathan Birnbaum, one of Zionism's early leaders, looked like Herzl and wrote like Herzl (albeit not as successfully). But his unusual trajectory has reduced the space that might have been assigned to him in the history of Zionism.

Rallying Round the Flags

Derek Penslar's new book returns to aim Jewish soldiers of the diaspora to their rightful place in Jewish history.

Jokes and Justice

We were sitting in our apartment one evening when a Spanish philosopher dropped in ...

The Devil You Know

Analysts of contemporary anti-Semitism are tracking a weak force that is, however, undoubtedly on the upswing.

“Why Bother?” A Rejoinder

Is Renewal a path toward the future or a road away from Judaism?

All-American, Post-Everything

Shaul Magid argues that Zalman Schachter-Shalomi is the Rebbe for post-ethnic America. But is cosmotheism a good idea?

East and West

In which direction should Israel orient itself?

Brother Baruch

Daniel Schwartz's excellent new book is the first ever to chart the changing image of Spinoza throughout the centuries.

Adventure Story

Anita Shapira's new book raises the bar for short histories of Israel.

Remembering the Forgotten

Historian Bernard Wasserstein narrates Jewish life in Europe between the world wars.

War & Peace & Judaism

  Robert Eisen was walking to campus on 9/11 when he saw a dark cloud above the Pentagon. Alick Isaacs fought for the IDF in Lebanon. Their experiences prompted them to rethink peace and Judaism.

Jewish Identity and Its Discontents

Two philosophies—one analytical, the other amorous—of the modern Jewish condition.

Next Year on the Rhine

Like Newport, Rhode Island, Worms, Germany is the quiet, waterside home to its country's most venerable synagogue—but the similarities stop there.

State and Counterstate

Debates about Zion and its relation to the diaspora aren't new. David Myers and Noam Pianko have retrieved the forgotten ideas of several interesting figures, foremost among them Simon Rawidowicz. Do they speak to us now?

Seeds of Subversion

The "Other" Jewish tradition.

Dirty Hands in Difficult Times

Israel's relationship with apartheid South Africa is an inconvenient—perhaps unavoidable—truth.

Moses Mendelssohn Street

Immortality in Jerusalem.

Old-New Debate

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