New Books Network

Emily Colbert Cairns, “Esther in Early Modern Iberia and the Sephardic Diaspora: Queen of the Conversas” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
Emily Colbert Cairns’ book, Esther in Early Modern Iberia and the Sephardic Diaspora: Queen of the Conversas (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), traces the biblical figure of Esther, the secret Jewish Queen, as she is reinvented as the patron saint for the early modern Sephardic community. This hybrid globetrotter emerges repeatedly in... Read More
Wulf Gruner, “The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia: Czech Initiatives, German Policies, Jewish Responses” (Berghahn Books, 2019)
Holocaust research tends to concentrate on certain geographic regions. We know much about the Holocaust in Poland, Germany and Western Europe. We are learning more and more about the ‘Holocaust by Bullets’ in the territories of the Soviet Union. This is obviously a good thing. But that emphasis leaves us... Read More
Jennifer Cazenave, “An Archive of the Catastrophe: The Unused Footage of Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah” (SUNY Press, 2019)
Jennifer Cazenave’s An Archive of the Catastrophe: The Unused Footage of Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah (SUNY Press, 2019) is a fascinating analysis of the 220 hours of outtakes edited out of the final nine and a half-hour 1985 film with which listeners and readers might be familiar. Well known around the... Read More
Lori Gemeiner-Bihler, “Cities of Refuge: German Jews in London and New York, 1935-1945” (SUNY Press, 2019)
In the years following Hitler’s rise to power, German Jews faced increasingly restrictive antisemitic laws, and many responded by fleeing to more tolerant countries. Cities of Refuge: German Jews in London and New York, 1935-1945 (SUNY Press, 2019), compares the experiences of Jewish refugees who immigrated to London and New... Read More
Benjamin Balint, “Jerusalem: City of the Book” (Yale UP, 2019)
“The library is a gathering pool of narratives and of the people who come to find them. It is where we can glimpse immortality; in the library, we can live forever.” ― Susan Orlean, The Library Book. Benjamin Balint and Merav Mack‘s Jerusalem: City of the Book (Yale University Press,... Read More
Sarah Wobick-Segev, “Homes Away from Home: Jewish Belonging in 20th-Century Paris, Berlin, and St. Petersburg” (Stanford UP, 2018)
In pre-emancipation Europe, most Jews followed Jewish law most of the time, but by the turn of the twentieth century, a new secular Jewish identity had begun to take shape. How did Jews go from lives organized by synagogues, shul, and mikvehs to lives that were conducted in Hillel houses,... Read More
Yaacob Dweck, “Dissident Rabbi: The Life of Jacob Sasportas” (Princeton UP, 2019)
In 1665, Sabbetai Zevi, a self-proclaimed Messiah with a mass following throughout the Ottoman Empire and Europe, announced that the redemption of the world was at hand. As Jews everywhere rejected the traditional laws of Judaism in favor of new norms established by Sabbetai Zevi, and abandoned reason for the... Read More