Against Impossibility
Who benefits when we decide—or accept—that the splinters of history are “beyond repair”?
Helen Betya Rubinstein June 21, 2022
The Family at Breakfast
Mona Mansour’s Vagrant Trilogy put a subtle, unapologetic portrait of a Palestinian life on a major New York stage.
Ben Gassman June 10, 2022
An Object Not Meant to Object
On The Wayland Rudd Collection
Zoé Samudzi June 6, 2022
Why There’s No Such Thing as a Jewish Gaucho
The Murders of Moisés Ville examines the violence lurking beneath tales of a Jewish utopia in rural Argentina.
Lily Meyer May 10, 2022
How Hollywood Wrote the Story of Israel
A new history misunderstands the American film industry’s role in cementing the US–Israel relationship—and the part Hollywood has played in scripting the tales both states tell about their settler-colonial origins.
Hazem Fahmy April 26, 2022
World War II Revisionism at the Jewish Museum
A new exhibition about Jonas Mekas was an opportunity to confront his wartime record. Instead, it tells a familiar story.
Michael Casper April 21, 2022
Fables of Finitude
In Pure Colour, Sheila Heti asks what it would mean to love the stories that link us to the past without imagining that they will carry us into the future.
Nora Caplan-Bricker March 14, 2022
The Overlooked Loyalties of Ethel Rosenberg
A new biography of the martyr captures the texture of her life and times but fails to fully investigate her political convictions.
Mitchell Abidor March 2, 2022
Biographical Fallacy
In a new biography of Judah P. Benjamin, a Southern Jew who served in the Confederate government, one man’s life can tell us only so much about the American Jewish encounter with slavery.
Richard Kreitner February 3, 2022
Survivor’s Guilt
In his Novi Sad trilogy of post-Holocaust fictions, the Serbian novelist Aleksandar Tišma examines the psychologically warping effects of antisemitism.
Jess Bergman December 14, 2021
The Making of Satmar Williamsburg
In a new history of the Hasidic “fortress in Brooklyn,” a community’s struggle for the right to the city is not always waged in the common interest.
Samuel Stein November 23, 2021
Bad Education
In The Loneliest Americans, Jay Caspian Kang suggests that for Asian Americans, the process of political consciousness raising has gone terribly wrong.
Zoe Hu November 17, 2021
Trick of the Light
In a film adaptation of Nella Larsen’s Passing, racial passing is about seeing as much as being seen.
Adrienne Brown November 15, 2021
That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore
In The Netanyahus, Joshua Cohen tries and fails to reanimate the canonical Jewish American novel.
Nathan Goldman September 29, 2021
What the Record Doesn’t Show
By offering the group as a model for present-day politics, Sarah Schulman’s history of ACT UP reproduces the movement’s failures and exclusions.
Vicky Osterweil September 22, 2021
Portraits of Empire
George W. Bush’s recent book of paintings betrays liberal empire’s role not as fascism’s alternative but as its co-conspirator.
Claire Schwartz September 10, 2021
The Guilty Conscience of Jewish Empire
In The Wondering Jew, the influential Israeli philosopher Micah Goodman—who has argued for “shrinking” the occupation—contends that liberal Judaism requires maximalist Zionism.
Daniel May June 28, 2021
Eternal Return
In Natalia Ginzburg’s fiction—including three recently reissued works—painful things cannot be put off forever.
Jess Bergman June 18, 2021
Who Owns American Judaism?
Lila Corwin Berman’s new book traces the explosion of the American Jewish philanthropic sector over the past 70 years—and its corrosive effect on contemporary Jewish life.
Raphael Magarik June 1, 2021
The End of the World as We Know It
Three recent books reveal the potential—and the limits—of apocalyptic thinking.
Dan Sinykin May 26, 2021
Lost and Unfounded
Will Kafka’s work survive the distorted representations made in his name?
Judith Butler May 3, 2021
A City Without a Country
Mayor, a documentary about Ramallah mayor Musa Hadid, is a devastating satire of local governance under occupation.
Alex Yablon January 28, 2021
Suburban Legends
Jason Diamond’s The Sprawl is a useful reminder that there is no single story to tell about the American suburbs.
Nora Caplan-Bricker December 14, 2020
A Little Bit Nazi
Yishai Sarid’s new novel, The Memory Monster, is a bleak, brilliant reckoning with Israeli Holocaust memorialization.
Mitchell Abidor December 3, 2020
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