Tag Archive for American

Review: Sailor and Fiddler, by Herman Wouk (2016)

Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-old Author, by Herman Wouk (Simon & Schuster) This slim volume, which the author describes as a “non-autobiography,” will be of special interest to people interested in literature, for it focuses primarily on Wouk’s writing life and how he came to create such popular works as The Caine Mutiny,…

Review: Two Days in June, by Andrew Cohen

More than half a century after the presidency of John F. Kennedy ended in a tragic hail of bullets, Ottawa historian and university professor Andrew Cohen has mined some powerful but previously neglected material on JFK and written a book that could change the shape of his political legacy and legend in substantial ways. In…

“HE WAS THE CZAR’S GUEST”

Herman Kempinski was evidently a first cousin once removed to my great-great-grandfather, Rafael Glicenstein, and both came from the town of Konin, Poland. Herman, born about 1854, was one of the many thousands of Russian-Polish Jews to emigrate to the United States in the late 1800s: he left Konin at age 17 in 1872. He…

A shocker: Mother & babe held at US-Canada border for two weeks

From The London Jewish Chronicle, March 20, 1931 ◊ This shocking tale from  the height of the depression focuses on a poor and desperate mother who, with a helpless infant, was caught in a bureaucratic no-man’s-land between the United States and Canada while authorities argued over which country would take her. Dorothy Cohen, a Jewish girl,…

Review of The 40s: The Story of A Decade (New Yorker)

Monuments Men, a new movie directed by George Clooney and starring Clooney and an impressive roster of A-list actors, tells the story of the special Allied unit tasked with rescuing artistic treasures looted by the Nazis from European museums and galleries during World War Two. The film is based loosely on Robert Edsel’s 2009 book…

Author Joshua Max Feldman on ‘Book of Jonah’

From Canadian Jewish News, May 2014 Jonah Jacobson is a young Manhattan lawyer immersed in an important legal deal that could make him a partner, and in relationships with two beautiful women each in love with him, when the heavens open up and he has a bizarre and unexpected Biblical vision at a party. Suddenly…

A memoir of novelist Bernard Malamud by his daughter

My Father Is A Book: A Memoir of Bernard Malamud, by Janna Malamud Smith (Counterpoint Berkeley) One hundred years after his birth in 1914, acclaimed novelist and short-story writer Bernard Malamud has been surprisingly overlooked by biographers — in large part because his family had blocked access to his private papers. But in recent years…

Review: The Rise of Abraham Cahan, by Seth Lipsky

From the Canadian Jewish News, January 2014 Ninety years ago, New York newspaper editor Abraham Cahan was at the epicentre of international Jewish affairs — not a newsmaker himself but an opinion-maker, someone who had an extraordinary and powerful influence on the Jewish masses in New York, around the Diaspora and in pre-state Israel. As…