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Sackler featured

The Sackler Cartel

Continuing our series exploring Jews & Crime, Nathan Abrams reviews a fascinating new book about how the Sackler family amassed its fortune.  Generally, when one thinks of drug pushers, one thinks of the illicit drug trade between Latin America and the United States. One might picture the Mexican and Columbian drug cartels in particular. Someone like Pablo Escobar. Or dealers pushing their products on […]

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The Poisoned Chalice

David Brauner contemplates the problems of writing a literary biography of Philip Roth. First, we had the previews of the Philip Roth biography by Blake Bailey (reviewed for JewThink by Donald Weber) – notably Joshua Cohen, assuming the voice of the dead Roth (a trick Tim Parrish had pulled off with more wit and elan […]

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The Jewishness of a Very Palestinian Intellectual

Aidan Joseph Beatty reviews a new biography of Edward Said. At the very start of the current millennium, in the decade-long interregnum after the end of the Cold War and before the War on Terror, Edward Said, by then the most commanding voice for Palestinian causes in the West, informed the vaguely centrist Israeli journalist […]

roth featured

The Philip Roth Minefield

Donald Weber offers his verdict on the new Philip Roth biography. Researching his richly-textured Philip Roth: The Biography, authorized by Roth himself in 2012, Blake Bailey recognized the challenge of narrating the story of one of the most celebrated, complex, and controversial figures in contemporary American literature. Roth, Bailey admits at the outset, is ‘too […]

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The Apotheosis of Consumer Culture and a Career

In his continuing exploration of David Cronenberg’s Jewishness, Sean Alexander appraises David Cronenberg’s only novel, Consumed. In 2014, the Baron of Blood and King of Venereal Horror, Canadian Jewish movie director, David Cronenberg, released his last movie to date, Maps to the Stars, and published his first novel Consumed. It brought the filmmaker’s career full […]

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An Uncanny Prophecy of Our Time

Donald Weber reviews Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz’s The Passenger. The publication of Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz’s harrowing novel, The Passenger, with a new translation from the original German by Philip Boehm, is a major literary event.  Written in the weeks following Kristallnacht, in early November 1938, when Boschwitz was just 23, The Passenger offers an intimate portrait […]

bugsy featured

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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Yiddisher Psychogeography of a Small Planet

David Balsmo explores Emanuel Litvinoff, Jewish Space and Place as revealed through the lockdown. It is now just over a year since the pandemic forced the U.K. into lockdown, during this time the promise of an expanding world with multifarious connections has shrunk. Yes, we have Zoom and other platforms, but non-virtual experience contracted with […]

grouch featured

Groucho Marx and the Spirit of American Humour

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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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