524 episodes

Interview with Scholar of Judaism about their New Books
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New Books in Jewish Studies Marshall Poe

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.3 • 47 Ratings

Interview with Scholar of Judaism about their New Books
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    Rani Jaeger, "Abraham the Hebrew Believer: Secularism and Religion in the Work of Avraham Shlonsky (1900-1973)"

    Rani Jaeger, "Abraham the Hebrew Believer: Secularism and Religion in the Work of Avraham Shlonsky (1900-1973)"

    How can it be that deeply religious poetry is being written by a committed socialist, literary revolutionary and modernist? How sacredness appears in working in the field? How one can pray after the “death of God”? This magical contradiction is being explored and explained in the book Abraham the Hebrew Believer: Secularism and Religion in the work of Abraham Shlonsky (1900-1973). The book is a journey to the world of one of the most creative figures in modern Hebrew culture.
    Dr. Rani Jaeger is a scholar and educator at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and the co-founder and rabbi of “Beit Tefila Israeli” in Tel-Aviv.
    Dr. Yakir Englander is the National Director of Leadership programs at the Israeli-American Council. He also teaches at the AJR. He can be reached at: Yakir1212englander@gmail.com
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    • 50 min
    Noah Isenberg ed., Shelley Frisch, trans., "Billy Wilder on Assignment: Dispatches from Weimar Berlin and Interwar Vienna" (Princeton UP, 2021)

    Noah Isenberg ed., Shelley Frisch, trans., "Billy Wilder on Assignment: Dispatches from Weimar Berlin and Interwar Vienna" (Princeton UP, 2021)

    Before Billy Wilder became the screenwriter and director of iconic films like Sunset Boulevard and Some Like It Hot, he worked as a freelance reporter, first in Vienna and then in Weimar Berlin. Billy Wilder on Assignment: Dispatches from Weimar Berlin and Interwar Vienna (Princeton UP, 2021) brings together more than fifty articles, translated into English for the first time, that Wilder (then known as Billie) published in magazines and newspapers between September 1925 and November 1930. From a humorous account of Wilder's stint as a hired dancing companion in a posh Berlin hotel and his dispatches from the international film scene, to his astute profiles of writers, performers, and political figures, the collection offers fresh insights into the creative mind of one of Hollywood's most revered writer-directors.
    Wilder's early writings--a heady mix of cultural essays, interviews, and reviews--contain the same sparkling wit and intelligence as his later Hollywood screenplays, while also casting light into the dark corners of Vienna and Berlin between the wars. Wilder covered everything: big-city sensations, jazz performances, film and theater openings, dance, photography, and all manner of mass entertainment. And he wrote about the most colorful figures of the day, including Charlie Chaplin, Cornelius Vanderbilt, the Prince of Wales, actor Adolphe Menjou, director Erich von Stroheim, and the Tiller Girls dance troupe. Film historian Noah Isenberg's introduction and commentary place Wilder's pieces--brilliantly translated by Shelley Frisch--in historical and biographical context, and rare photos capture Wilder and his circle during these formative years.
    Filled with rich reportage and personal musings, Billy Wilder on Assignment showcases the burgeoning voice of a young journalist who would go on to become a great auteur.
    Marshall Poe is the founder and editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at marshallpoe@newbooksnetwork.com.
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    • 49 min
    Hadassah Lieberman, "Hadassah: An American Story" (Brandeis UP, 2021)

    Hadassah Lieberman, "Hadassah: An American Story" (Brandeis UP, 2021)

    Born in Prague to Holocaust survivors, Hadassah Lieberman and her family immigrated in 1949 to the United States. She went on to earn a BA from Boston University in government and dramatics and an MA in international relations and American government from Northeastern University. She built a career devoted largely to public health that has included positions at Lehman Brothers, Pfizer, and the National Research Council. After her first marriage ended in divorce, she married Joe Lieberman, a US senator from Connecticut who was the Democratic nominee for vice president with Al Gore and would go on to run for president.
    In Hadassah: An American Story (Brandeis UP, 2021), Lieberman pens the compelling story of her extraordinary life: from her family's experience in Eastern Europe to their move to Gardner, Massachusetts; forging her career; experiencing divorce; and, following her remarriage, her life on the national political stage. By offering insight into her identity as an immigrant, an American Jew, a working woman, and a wife, mother, and grandmother, Lieberman's moving memoir speaks to many of the major issues of our time, from immigration to gender politics. Featuring an introduction by Joe Lieberman and an afterword by Megan McCain, it is a true American story.
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Annegret Oehme, "The Knight Without Boundaries: Yiddish and German Arthurian Wigalois Adaptations" (Brill, 2021)

    Annegret Oehme, "The Knight Without Boundaries: Yiddish and German Arthurian Wigalois Adaptations" (Brill, 2021)

    This volume explores a core medieval myth, the tale of an Arthurian knight called Wigalois, and the ways it connects the Yiddish-speaking Jews and the German-speaking non-Jews of the Holy Roman Empire. The German Wigalois / Viduvilt adaptations grow from a multistage process: a German text adapted into Yiddish adapted into German, creating adaptations actively shaped by a minority culture within a majority culture. The Knight Without Boundaries: Yiddish and German Arthurian Wigalois Adaptations (Brill, 2021) examines five key moments in the Wigalois / Viduvilt tradition that highlight transitions between narratological and meta-narratological patterns and audiences of different religious-cultural or lingual background.
    Lea Greenberg is a scholar of German studies with a particular focus on German Jewish and Yiddish literature and culture; critical gender studies; multilingualism; and literature of the post-Yugoslav diaspora.
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    • 57 min
    Grant T. Harward, "Romania's Holy War: Soldiers, Motivation, and the Holocaust" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Grant T. Harward, "Romania's Holy War: Soldiers, Motivation, and the Holocaust" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    What motivated conscripted soldiers to fight in the Romanian Army during the Second World War? Why did they obey orders, take risks, and sometimes deliberately sacrifice their lives for the mission? What made soldiers murder, rape, and pillage, massacring Jews en masse during Operation Barbarossa? Grant Harward’s ground-breaking book Romania's Holy War: Soldiers, Motivation, and the Holocaust (Cornell UP, 2021) combines military history, social history, and histories of the Holocaust to offer a new interpretation of Romania’s role in the Second World War. In this interview he talks about his surprising discussions with veterans, his notion of “atrocity motivation” as an unexplored reason why soldiers commit horrific acts during wartime, the relative military effectiveness of the Romanian army, the role of the Orthodox Church, and the content of propaganda aimed at soldiers. As he explains, Harward’s research opens up whole new fields of research for military historians and others interested in the relationship of war to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and violence.
    Roland Clark is a Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Liverpool, President of the Society for Romanian Studies, and a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right.
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    • 1 hr 24 min
    Dana Mack, "All Things That Deserve to Perish: A Novel of Wilhelmine Germany" (2020)

    Dana Mack, "All Things That Deserve to Perish: A Novel of Wilhelmine Germany" (2020)

    Despite all the attention paid to the two world wars of the twentieth century, not a great deal of historical fiction focuses on the period that preceded them. Dana Mack’s debut novel, All Things That Deserve to Perish, is an exception. Through its depictions of Berlin high society, the Junkers from the agricultural estates of old Prussia, and interfaith marriages, the novel explores the fraught transition to a modern, commercial economy that simultaneously promoted and complicated relations between Germans at all levels of society and their Jewish fellow citizens.
    Mack focuses her story on Elisabeth von Schwabacher, the daughter of a successful Jewish financier who has just returned from Vienna to her parents’ home in Berlin when the book opens. Lisi, as she’s known, has been training as a classical pianist, and her great ambition is to perform in concert halls and private soirées.
    Or is it? Lisi’s mother pushes the conventional future of wife and mother and rigorously oversees a diet and makeover program to ready Lisi for society, but neither of her parents wants to force their daughter into marriage, especially to a non-Jewish man. It’s Lisi herself who encourages the attentions of two noblemen, both to some extent fortune hunters—the widowed Prince Egon von Senbeck-Wittenbach and the impoverished Junker Count Wilhelm von Boening. And Lisi is also the one who chooses, when her parents press her for a decision, to start an affair with one of her suitors without considering how that may affect her ability to perform.
    The casual antisemitism expressed by many of the characters in this book is almost more jarring than the occasional outbursts of hatred and bigotry. But it is both true to the times and revealing of the fundamental social rifts in Wilhelmine Germany that, less than fifty years later, would explode in the horrors of Auschwitz and Treblinka.

    A historian, journalist, and musician, Dana Mack has published two nonfiction books on marriage and parenthood, as well as articles on music, history, culture, family issues, and education in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and many other publications. All Things That Deserve to Perish is her first novel.
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    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
47 Ratings

47 Ratings

Tmpadawan ,

Excellent

Great venue for current Jewish thought

Ellicd ,

Great podcast

Great podcast. One criticism: the sound editor overlaps the end of a question with the beginning of an answer

maltvinegarfish and chips ,

Great interviews

This is a very varied and fascinating
group of scholars. Interviews are an in depth discussion of their current work. Introduces compelling topics I would otherwise been un aware even existed

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