Category Archives: book reviews

Book Matters

Book Matters People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present By Dara Horn The only other book by Dara Horn that I’ve read is Eternal Life, which is a kind of romantic fiction with a difference.  In that book, … Continue reading

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Book Matters

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris By David McCullough “I’d like to see Paris before I die.” That’s how W. C. Fields, about to be hanged in “My Little Chickadee,” answers when he’s asked if he has any last wish. … Continue reading

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Explain This.

Explain This. If the roof falls in or the ship is taking water, I’m the teammate you’ll want to have around.  I’ll do anything that seems to need doing and I won’t try to be important while I’m about it.  … Continue reading

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Light on the Longest Hatred

Light on the Longest Hatred I’d intended to devote this column to leisurely reflections on what I sometimes term “the Jewish assignment” in history.  Reflections prompted by a biography I’m now reading, with the title, Rabbi Leo Baeck: Living a … Continue reading

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Book Matters

Book Matters Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America By David Hackett Fischer The four British folkways in the title are the Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Quakers in Pennsylvania, the Royalists in Virginia, and the Scotch-Irish in … Continue reading

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My First Teaching Non-Anxiety Dream

“Moses and the Tablets”Rembrandt, 1659 My First Teaching Non-Anxiety Dream I don’t know how many academics and former academics have teaching anxiety dreams, but mine followed me even after stepping down from active faculty status.  You can take the girl … Continue reading

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Are We Seeing a Culture Shift?

Are We Seeing a Culture Shift? Dates vary, when people try to characterize a phase of culture, but for (let us say) the past 50 years, opinion-shapers in our culture have functioned under the aegis of the following influences:  post-structuralism, … Continue reading

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Book Matters

Book Matters The Blessing and the Curse: The Jewish People and Their Books in the Twentieth Century By Adam Kirsch This is an unusual book. Its author, Adam Kirsch, has combined skills rarely found together: poet, successful literary critic, academic … Continue reading

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Proceedings and Addresses

Proceedings and Addresses Proceedings is the shared forum, like the Athenian agora, where American philosophers who have managed to command the attention of their colleagues publish their invited addresses. Since 2000, I’ve stepped down from active faculty status (though not … Continue reading

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Book Matters

Book Matters Blaming the Jews: Politics and Delusion By Bernard Harrison It’s not common that you see someone with a high degree of philosophic training actually doing something helpful with it.  This book, by a well-regarded British philosopher, sheds a … Continue reading

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