New Books Network

Robert F. Barsky and Noam Chomsky, “Zellig Harris: From American Linguistics to Socialist Zionism” (MIT Press, 2011)
Zellig Harris’s name is famous in linguistics primarily for his early work on transformational grammar and his influence on his most famous student, Noam Chomsky. However, much of his linguistic work has since fallen into comparative obscurity. Moreover, his political research and activism – about which he was especially guarded... Read More
Sol Stern, “A Century of Palestinian Rejectionism and Jew Hatred” (Encounter Books, 2011)
In his new book, A Century of Palestinian Rejectionism and Jew Hatred, (Encounter Books, 2011), Sol Stern, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor to City Journal, provides an eye-opening analysis of the history surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian encounter and offers insight into the motivation underlying the action of... Read More
Jarrod Tanny, “City of Rogues and Schnorrers: Russia’s Jews and the Myth of Old Odessa” (Indiana UP, 2011)
“Ah, nostalgia is such an illness, and what a beautiful illness. There is no medicine for it! And thank God there isn’t.” This was how one of the Soviet Union’s most famous jazz singers and actors, Leonid Utyosov, concluded his memoirs. Utyosov was referring to his ironic relationship with the... Read More
Charles King, “Odessa: Genius and Death in the City of Dreams” (W.W. Norton, 2011)
“Look up the street or down the street, this way or that way, we only saw America,” wrote Mark Twain to capture his visit to Odessa in 1867. In a way, it’s not too farfetched that Twain saw his homeland in the Black Sea port city. Odessa was very much... Read More
Greg Myre and Jennifer Griffin, “This Burning Land: Lessons from the Front Lines of the Transformed Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” (Wiley, 2011)
In their new book, This Burning Land: Lessons from the Front Lines of the Transformed Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), the husband and wife team of Greg Myre and Jennifer Griffin recount their experiences working as reporters in Jerusalem during the eventful last decade. Myre, the editor of NPR’s “Morning Edition,”... Read More
David Shneer, “Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust” (Rutgers UP, 2010)
We should be skeptical of what is sometimes called “Jew counting” and all it implies. Yet it cannot be denied that Jews played a pivotal and (dare we say) disproportionate role in moving the West from a pre-modern to a modern condition. Take the media. Most people know that Jews,... Read More
Kenneth Moss, “Jewish Renaissance in the Russian Revolution” (Harvard UP, 2010)
For us, every “nation” has and has always had a “culture,” meaning a defining set of folkways, customs, and styles that is different from every other. But like the modern understanding of the word “nation,” this idea of “culture” or “a culture” is not very old. According to the OED,... Read More
Jerry Muller, “Capitalism and the Jews” (Princeton UP, 2010)
I confess I was attracted to this book by the title: Capitalism and the Jews (Princeton, 2010). Capitalism is a touchy subject; Jews are a touchy subject. But capitalism and the Jews, that’s a disaster waiting to happen. I don’t suggest you try this, but just imagine what would happen... Read More
Ruth Harris, “Dreyfus: Politics, Emotion, and the Scandal of the Century” (Henry Holt, 2010)
If you’re like me (and I hope you aren’t), the “Trial of the Century” involved a washed-up football star, a slowly moving white Bronco, an ill-fitting glove, and charges of racism. I watched every bit of it and remember exactly where I was when the verdict was announced. But if... Read More
Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern, “The Anti-Imperial Choice: The Making of the Ukrainian Jew” (Yale UP, 2009)
I’ve got a name for you: Robert Zimmerman (aka Shabtai Zisel ben Avraham). You’ve heard of him. He was a Jewish kid from Hibbing, Minnesota. But he didn’t (as the stereotype would suggest) become a doctor, lawyer, professor or businessman. Nope, the professions were not for him. He loved the... Read More