Thirty years ago, as the Soviet Union was coming apart and its hold on Eastern Europe was loosening, democracy appeared ascendant not just in Europe but worldwide. For advocates of democratic government, the 20th century concluded on a triumphant note. Today that note is a distant, barely audible signal from a bygone era.
When 41-year-old American novelist Joshua Cohen won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction last week for his semi-roman à clef, The Netanyahus, the first question occurring to close observers of Israeli culture and politics wasn’t “Is it good for the Jews?” but “How bad is it for Bibi and the family brand?”
A European country bombed into rubble. Refugees streaming across multiple borders.
The most formative experience of my college years wasn’t in a classroom.
In the midst of a long conversation about men, women, love, sex and his own adolescence, the late Amos Oz reminds his interlocutor Shira Hadad that “the most important word in our whole conversation today is ‘sometimes.’”
Thirty members of the Sayeret Matkal, the elite commando unit of the IDF that rescued hostages from a hijacked flight in Uganda, share their memories of the rescue in a book, newly translated from the Hebrew.
Munich in the years following World War I was a nasty, bloody microcosm of the political catastrophes in Europe that preceded and followed Germany’s defeat in that war.
The time is summer, 1960; the place, Washington, DC; the protagonist, 16-year-old Carl Bernstein on his way to buy a suit for a job interview as a copy boy at the Evening Star, the city’s major afternoon paper at that time.
Barbara Goldberg’s poetry has always displayed an insatiable appetite for grief and desire.
Almost a half-century before Donald Trump signed on to the fraudulent notion that President Barack Obama’s American citizenship and constitutional legitimacy were suspect, Robert Welch (1899-1985) reached an equally alarming conclusion about the president of his day, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower.