New Books Network

Adam Brown, “Judging ‘Privileged’ Jews: Holocaust Ethics, Representation, and the ‘Grey Zone'” (Berghahn, 2015)
The Nazis’ persecution of the Jews during the Holocaust included the creation of prisoner hierarchies that forced victims to cooperate with their persecutors. Many in the camps and ghettos came to hold so-called “privileged” positions, and their behavior has often been judged as self-serving and harmful to fellow inmates. Such... Read More
Yitzhak Lewis, “Permanent Beginning: R. Nachman of Braslav and Jewish Literary Modernity” (SUNY Press, 2020)
The Hasidic leader R. Nachman of Braslav (1772–1810) has held a place in the Jewish popular imagination for more than two centuries. Some see him as the (self-proclaimed) Messiah, others as the forerunner of modern Jewish literature. Existing studies struggle between these dueling readings, largely ignoring questions of aesthetics and... Read More
Mara Benjamin, “The Obligated Self: Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought” (Indiana UP, 2018)
In this talk, Rachel Adelman engages Mara Benjamin in a conversation about her most recent book, The Obligated Self—Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought (Indiana University Press, 2018). Benjamin contends that the physical and psychological work of caring for children presents theologically fruitful but largely unexplored terrain for feminists. Attending to... Read More
David Slucki et al., “Laughter After: Humor and the Holocaust” (Wayne State UP, 2020)
In Laughter After: Humor and the Holocaust  (Wayne State University Press, 2020), Co-editors David Slucki,  Loti Smorgon Associate Professor of Contemporary Jewish Life and Culture at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University, Gabriel N. Finder, professor in the department of German Languages and Literatures and former director of the... Read More
Gabriel Finder, “Justice behind the Iron Curtain: Nazis on Trial in Communist Poland” (U Toronto Press, 2018)
When Americans think about trials of Holocaust perpetrators, they generally think of the Nuremberg Trials or the trial of Adolf Eichmann or perhaps of the Frankfort trials of perpetrators from Auschwitz. If they think of Polish trials at all, they likely assume these were show trials driven by political goals rather... Read More
John K. Roth, “Sources of Holocaust Insight: Learning and Teaching about the Genocide” (Cascade Books, 2020)
At Newman I co-teach a class titled “The Holocaust and its Legacies.”  I teach the course with a Professor of Theology and it’s designed to help students understand the ways in which the Holocaust shaped the world they live in. It is, in a sense, designed to help students gain... Read More
James A. Diamond, “Jewish Theology Unbound” (Oxford UP, 2018)
James A. Diamond discusses his new book, Jewish Theology Unbound (Oxford University Press, 2018), with Rachel Adelman. This book challenges the widespread caricature of Judaism as a religion of law as opposed to theology. Broad swaths of rabbinic literature involve not just law but what could be best described as... Read More
Alexander Gendler, “Khurbm 1914-1922: Prelude to the Holocaust” (Varda Books, 2019)
The murder of two-thirds of European Jews, referred to by many as the Holocaust, did not begin June 22, 1941, with the German invasion of the Soviet Union, or September 1, 1939, with the beginning of WWII, or with 1938 Kristallnacht, or even with the 1933 rise of Hitler. According... Read More
Deborah Dash Moore, “Jewish New York: The Remarkable Story of a City and a People” (NYU Press, 2017)
Jewish New York: The Remarkable Story of a City and a People (NYU Press, 2017) reveals the multifaceted world of one of the city’s most important ethnic and religious groups. Jewish immigrants changed New York. They built its clothing industry and constructed huge swaths of apartment buildings. New York Jews... Read More