Currently Browsing: Nathan Abrams 66 articles

I teach film studies at Bangor University in north Wales where I live. I research, write and broadcast regularly (in Welsh and English) on transatlantic Jewish culture and history.
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The Name’s Carver, Elliot Carver

Continuing our series on Jews & Crime, Nathan Abrams explores one of James Bond’s ‘Jewish’ villains. While none of James Bond’s villains in the film versions has been explicitly Jewish, several have been played by Jewish actors. The first-ever Bond villain in 1962’s Dr No, Doctor Julius No, a reclusive Chinese-German scientist, was played by […]

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Britain’s Small Screen Jewish Gangsters

Contining with our series on Jews and Crime, Nathan Abrams explores British Jewish gangsters and criminals on the small screen. The image of the British Jewish gangster isn’t an obvious one but we’ve had two significant crime families on British television in recent years. McMafia (BBC, 2018) was an eight-part British crime drama television series […]

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NXIVM: The Story of Jews and a Sex Cult

In our series on Jews & Crime, Nathan Abrams discusses those Jews who became involved the NXIVM, the self-help group cum sex cult. The NXIVM (pronounced ‘Nex-ee-um’) story might have passed you by. It was founded in 1998 by Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman, a former registered psychiatric nurse, hypnotist, and neuro-linguistics programming expert, as a purported self-improvement organization near Albany, New York.   NXIVM started as a […]

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A Study of Jewish Criminality

Nathan Abrams reviews a new biography of the gangster Bugsy Siegel and argues we need to study Jewish criminality in more depth. Of the nearly fifty volumes in Yale’s Jewish Lives series, this is the first about a bootlegger, racketeer, gambler and murderer, writes Michael Shnayerson at the outset of his new biography of Bugsy […]

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Pandemic Passover 2.0: What Have We Learned?

As Pesach approaches Nathan Abrams argues that we need to step up to help remote Jews. As Pesach approaches it is a good time to take stock of the past year and what we have learned from the ongoing pandemic and continued lockdowns. In July last year, I wrote for JewThink, how things were looking […]

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Groucho Marx and the Spirit of American Humour

Nathan Abrams learns a great deal from a new biography of Groucho Marx. I’m by no means a Marxist. By that I mean I am no Marx Brothers maven. In that context, I learned a great deal from ‘this biography of sorts’ of Groucho Marx by Lee Siegel. Born in 1890, Julius Henry Marx was […]

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The Party Started Three Decades Ago

Nathan Abrams responds to an article in The Guardian about British Jewry’s alleged awakening from its timidity. Hadley Freeman’s assertation that ‘British Jews have always been self-effacing, but we’re starting to show our chutzpah’ overstates the point. Freeman is right that Corbyn’s tenure as leader of the Labour Party has obscured that fact but British […]

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‘Law Not War’

Nathan Abrams reviews Parting Words by Benjamin Ferencz, the last surviving prosecutor for the Nuremberg war crimes trials. The American Jewish lawyer, Benjamin Ferencz has had a remarkable life. His career, which spanned more than seven decades, is a classic rags to riches story. From miserable poverty, he became the chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg […]

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Discounted Jews

Nathan Abrams finds flaws in David Baddiel’s new book about antisemitism Jews Don’t Count.  I finally got my copy of Jews Don’t Count, David Baddiel’s new book about antisemitism. Despite being a longtime fan and bearing more than a passing physical resemblance to him, I desperately didn’t want to like this book. Maybe it’s because the media only seems to pay attention to these issues when it’s a celebrity like Baddiel, Simon Schama or Anthony Julius. As he puts it himself in the book, ‘I am, […]

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Jewish Space Lasers

When Republican Congresswoman Majorie Taylor Greene blamed the Californian wildfires on a secret Jewish Space Laser, the internet went wild with memes. Mel Brooks’ ‘Jews in Space’ featuring Star-of David-shaped spaceships, flown by haredim, singing of the glories of ‘defending the Hebrew race’ was particularly popular. As was the Death Star of David. There were also […]

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