Tag: non-fiction

Jewish Name Changing in America

A Rosenberg by Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name Changing in America, by Kirsten Fermaglich, New York University Press, 2018. Although Jewish name-changing was widespread throughout the United States and Canada throughout much of the 20th century, no one has studied this interesting phenomenon at book length until now.   The author, Kirsten…

William Fox: forgotten movie mogul

Review of The Man Who Made the Movies: The Meteoric Rise and Tragic Fall of William Fox, by Vanda Krefft Theda Bara (nicknamed ‘The Vamp’), one of Fox’s biggest stars, in a lavish 1917 production of Cleopatra. No known copy of the film survives. From the Canadian Jewish News, 2019 Although his surname appears in…

Jordan Peterson offers ‘constructive wisdom’

From the Canadian Jewish News, February 2019 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B Peterson (Random House Canada) Jordan Peterson is a professor of psychology, most recently at the University of Toronto, with a thorough grounding in scientific literature, particularly in the biological sciences, psychology, and the nature of the human…

Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World

In his book Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World, Montreal author Marc Raboy points out that Guglielmo Marconi was the Bill Gates or Steven Jobs of his day, and was the world’s first champion of and visionary for not just global wireless communications, but two-way global wireless communications. Although associated primarily with the development…

A Second Look at Harari’s ‘Sapiens’ (2018)

Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind has proven to be one of the most thought-provoking non-fiction books published in recent years. It’s such a stimulating book that I reread it recently. Originally written in Hebrew, the English-language version of Sapiens appeared in 2014 and quickly became a publishing sensation. Having dominated the…

Mary Berg and the Warsaw Ghetto

Four years ago, a Pennsylvanian antiques collector purchased a trove of old scrapbooks and photo albums at an estate sale in the town of Red Lion, Pa. The cache, which included hundreds of photographs including some taken in the Warsaw Ghetto between 1940 and 1943, cost only $10. Discovering that the material was related to…

The Forgotten ‘Fusgeyers’ from Romania

Curious about your Jewish ancestors from Romania? Read Jill Culiner’s ‘Finding Home: In the Footsteps of the Jewish Fusgeyers’ Between about 1900 and 1914, multitudes of impoverished Jewish refugees sold their meagre possessions, joined into large groups for protection, and trekked hundreds of miles out of Romania on foot. The exodus of the Jewish “Fusgeyers” — Yiddish…

My Grandfather’s Gallery: A Family Memoir of Art and War

  REVIEW: My Grandfather’s Gallery: A Family Memoir of Art and War, by Anne Sinclair (Farrar Strauss & Giroux) Born in New York in 1948, the prominent French-Jewish journalist Anne Sinclair says that while the heroic stories of her paternal grandparents, who had stayed in France during wartime, had always resonated deeply within her, she…