New Books Network

Francesca Trivellato, “The Promise and Peril of Credit” (Princeton UP, 2019)
In 1647, the French author Étienne Cleirac asserted in his book Les us, et coustumes de la mer that the credit instruments known as bills of exchange had been invented by Jews. In The Promise and Peril of Credit: What a Forgotten Legend about Jews and Finance Tells Us about... Read More
Richard Averbeck, “Paradigm Change in Pentateuchal Research” (Harrassowitz Verlag, 2019)
For some two hundred years now, Pentateuchal scholarship has been dominated by the Documentary Hypothesis, a paradigm made popular by Julius Wellhausen. Recent decades, however, have seen mounting critiques of the old paradigm, from a variety of specializations, not only in Biblical Studies, but also in the fields of Assyriology,... Read More
Julie Zuckerman, “The Book of Jeremiah” (Press 53, 2019)
Julie Zuckerman’s moving and engrossing debut novel-in-stories, The Book of Jeremiah (Press 53, 2019), tells the story of awkward but endearing Jeremiah Gerstler—the son of immigrants, brilliant political science professor, husband, and father. Jeremiah has yearned for respect and acceptance his entire life, and no matter his success, he still... Read More
Jack Wertheimer, “The New American Judaism: How Jews Practice Their Religion Today” (Princeton UP, 2018)
Countless sociological studies and surveys present a rather bleak picture of religion and religious engagement in the United States. Attendance at worship services remains very low and approximately one quarter of Americans indicate that they are not affiliated with any religion. This trend extends to the Jewish community, and American... Read More
Adriana X. Jacobs, “Strange Cocktail: Translation and the Making of Modern Hebrew Poetry” (U Michigan Press, 2018)
In Strange Cocktail: Translation and the Making of Modern Hebrew Poetry (University of Michigan Press, 2018), Adriana X. Jacobs offers a translation-centered reading of twentieth-century modern Hebrew poetry. Through close readings of poems by Esther Raab, Leah Goldberg, Avot Yeshurun, and Harold Schimmel, Jacobs shows how an intertwined poetics and praxis of translation... Read More
Vivi Lachs, “Whitechapel Noise: Jewish Immigrant Life in Yiddish Song and Verse, London, 1884-1914” (Wayne State UP, 2018)
In Whitechapel Noise: Jewish Immigrant Life in Yiddish Song and Verse, London, 1884-1914 (Wayne State University Press, 2018), Vivi Lachs, social and cultural historian, Yiddishist, performer, and associate research fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, looks at London’s Yiddish popular culture. She positions it in historical perspective within Anglo-Jewish history,... Read More
Todd L. Patterson, “The Plot-structure of Genesis” (Brill, 2018)
Does Genesis function merely as the beginning of the Bible’s larger story, or can Genesis be read as its own book? Does Genesis have its own plot that moves from complication to dénouement? Todd L. Patterson, in his recent book The Plot-structure of Genesis (Brill 2018), says, ‘Yes!’ The book... Read More