Books

The Ba’athification Of Iraq

Filed in Books by on July 22, 2017 0 Comments
The Ba’athification Of Iraq

Iraq’s dictatorial strongman, Saddam Hussein, ruled his country with an iron hand, tolerating no dissension. Barring a coup or fatal illness, he could have governed Iraq indefinitely had he kept his nose to the grindstone. But being guided by hubris and wildly false assumptions, he made the major mistake of invading neighboring Kuwait on August […]

Continue Reading »

The Invisible Jewish Budapest

Filed in Books by on July 10, 2017 0 Comments
The Invisible Jewish Budapest

Assimilated Hungarian Jews were in the forefront of shaping the popular¬†culture of late 19th and early 20th century Budapest, one of the capitals of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and one of the major cities in Europe today. Its edgy nightlife and innovative entertainment industry, encompassing coffee houses, clubs, music halls and theatres, were largely the creation […]

Continue Reading »

The Rise And Fall Of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

Filed in Books by on June 20, 2017 0 Comments
The Rise And Fall Of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood, the most organized and cohesive political force in Egypt following the collapse of Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian government in 2011, ruled the country from 2012 to 2013. During this interim period, Mohammed Morsi was at Egypt’s helm as its first democratically elected president. Morsi squandered the opportunity the electorate had handed him, catalyzing […]

Continue Reading »

Bringing Zion Home

Filed in Books by on June 10, 2017 0 Comments
Bringing Zion Home

It probably will come as no surprise that American Jews formed a binding relationship with Israel through culture and food rather than through politics. During the first two decades of Israel’s existence, they bonded with the new state by reading books about it, buying Israeli crafts, paintings and apparel, attending concerts by Israeli musicians and […]

Continue Reading »

Holocaust Landscapes

Filed in Books by on May 28, 2017 0 Comments
Holocaust Landscapes

The Holocaust was not a single, monolithic event but rather a series of events that unfolded in different places at different times, a theme British scholar Tim Cole deftly pursues in Holocaust Landscapes, published by Bloomsbury. Cole, a social historian at Bristol University who’s written several books about the Holocaust, explores it from various vantage […]

Continue Reading »

King Solomon’s Table

Filed in Books by on May 14, 2017 0 Comments
King Solomon’s Table

Joan Nathan, the renowned cookbook author, has travelled to some 15 countries on five continents in search of material. Her newest book, King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World, published by Alfred A. Knopf, is an impressive showcase of her knowledge and expertise. She begins her journey in Kochi, […]

Continue Reading »

Romania, Romania

Filed in Books by on May 12, 2017 0 Comments
Romania, Romania

I understand Robert D. Kaplan’s fascination with Romania. A Balkan nation which experienced the extremes of both fascism and communism within one generation, Romania was forged on the anvils of the Byzantine, Ottoman, Habsburg and Russian empires. Today, it has reverted back to what it was hundreds of years ago — a frontier state of […]

Continue Reading »

East Germany’s Undeclared War Against Israel

Filed in Books by on April 29, 2017 0 Comments
East Germany’s Undeclared War Against Israel

Before the advent of German reunification in 1990, two sovereign states, West Germany and East Germany, faced each other as bitter, implacable rivals. West Germany, a democracy formed in 1949, was aligned with the United States and the West. East Germany, a communist state which emerged in the same year, was a member of the […]

Continue Reading »

The Age of Jihad

Filed in Books by on April 13, 2017 0 Comments
The Age of Jihad

Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire a century ago, the Middle East has fallen into a dismal state of chronic instability, lurching from one coup d’√©tat to another, from one war to the next. But since the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003 respectively, the stability of the region has […]

Continue Reading »

The Legendary Al Capone

Filed in Books by on March 27, 2017 0 Comments
The Legendary Al Capone

Probably the most infamous American gangster of all time, Alphonse (Al) Capone maintains an iron grip on the popular imagination. Seventy years after his death, Capone’s mystique seems undimmed and indestructible, even though his tempestuous reign lasted only six years. Celebrated and cursed in a cascade of books and movies and in a tsunami of […]

Continue Reading »