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Tag: Kirsch

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  • Gifts for literarily everyone

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    November 20, 2012 | 2:02 pm

    As Chanukah approaches, there is a plentitude of gift-worthy titles from recently published books. Some are elegant, some quirky, some comforting, but all of them are suitable for one or another of the readers on your list.  

     

    Michael Feinstein, an American maestro in his own...

  • The illusion of a solution

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    September 5, 2012 | 10:50 am

    Of all the incendiary books that have been written about Israel over the last year or so, none is quite as fiery as "Israel: The Will to Prevail" by Danny Danon (Palgrave Macmillan: $26).

    Danon is a young activist in the Likud Party and serves as deputy speaker of the Knesset. He...

  • Re-examining Twain’s work, Clemens’ life

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    July 25, 2012 | 11:07 am

    Ira Fistell is a familiar and even beloved figure in the Los Angeles radio market, where he long served as an exceptionally amiable, thoughtful and well-informed talk-show host on subjects ranging from politics and religion to vintage trains and Mississippi steamboats. Along with...

  • Jerusalem, behind the veil of piety

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    December 13, 2011 | 5:38 pm

    Jerusalem is always in the headlines, or so it seems, but the same city on a hill has commanded the attention of the Western world without interruption since biblical antiquity.  That’s why Jerusalem is the subject of enough books to fill a library, the latest of which is Simon...

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  • ‘Jerusalem’ — ancient symbol, modern struggles

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    March 29, 2011 | 5:25 pm

    Blood has been spilled yet again in the streets of Jerusalem in recent days, and so there is a certain urgency that inevitably attaches itself to “Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World” by James Carroll (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28). Carroll...

  • Slavery, seen by a descendant of slaves

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    March 15, 2011 | 5:55 pm

    Alan Cheuse is probably best known for his savvy and engaging book reviews on National Public Radio, but he is also an accomplished novelist and essayist. His latest book, “Song of Slaves in the Desert” (Sourcebooks, $25.99), is a Great American Novel in the most profound and...

  • The City Where ‘Everything’ Began

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    March 10, 2011 | 10:35 am

    To sum up the exotic history of the Black Sea port of Odessa, Charles King, in “Odessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams” (Norton: $27.95), describes “a city that had been scouted by a Neapolitan mercenary, named by a Russian empress, governed by her one-eyed secret...

  • Once a sign, now an icon

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    March 1, 2011 | 6:25 pm

    “Icon” is a much-used word — and I am as guilty as anyone else of overusing it — but when it comes to the Hollywood sign, no other word will do. In fact, Leo Braudy’s fascinating new book, “The Hollywood Sign: Fantasy and Reality of an American Icon” (Yale University...

  • Crossing UFOs and sacred texts in a whodunit

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    January 27, 2011 | 1:30 pm

    Starting with its beguiling title, “Journal of a UFO Investigator” by David Halperin (Viking, $25.95) is an enchantment from beginning to end, a coming-of-age story that is also a kind of whodunit and, above all, an eerie adventure tale set in the subculture of flying saucers and...

  • The City of Lights at its darkest hour

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    December 16, 2010 | 10:28 am

    Adolf Hitler may have been bloody in tooth and claw, but he was enough of an aesthete to understand that Paris was the center of gravity for European culture. On the only visit he made to the city during World War II, he went sight-seeing like any other tourist, then or now. Still,...

  • The art and mystery of the Ketubah

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    November 11, 2010 | 1:49 pm

    “The Marriage Artist” by Andrew Winer (Holt, $26.00) opens with a shocking scene — a young woman and her suspected lover are found dead on a New York sidewalk. Was it a crime committed by the woman’s jealous husband? A lover’s quarrel that ended in a murder and then a...

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