June 18, 2019

Books

What’s the purpose of Talmud study? Is it merely legal? Or is it spiritual and intellectual as well? Chaim Saiman answers these questions in his new book, “Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law.”

A new book details the legal battle Israel waged for possession of Kafka’s manuscripts. The State of Israel may have won their case, but who really has the right to claim Kafka's legacy?

Wattpad offers users an undifferentiated mass of user-generated content ranging from erotica to sci-fi fanfiction. Here’s how it’s transforming the publishing world.

"It strikes me that we’re now suffering collectively from a “tyranny of the virtual,” since we find ourselves unable to look away from the screens that mediate not just print but, increasingly, reality itself."

Tolstoy, in addition to literary masterpieces, left behind a legacy as a political and spiritual thinker. His teachings inspired a Kibbutz-like cooperative farming movement. These Tolstoyan communities still exist.

“Teachers and students love A People’s History of the United States. But it’s as limited—and closed-minded—as the textbooks it replaces.”

Every great fantasy book starts with a map. David Mitchell explores the unique role cartography plays in the creation of his fictional worlds.

Karl Ove Knausgaard’s epic 7-book memoir, My Struggle, is an international literary hit and widely hailed as a masterpiece. Its seventh and final volume takes on Hitler and turns this epic work into an epic fail.

“The cultural and political assumptions and insights once confined to the Voice-defined margins have long since been absorbed into the mainstream... In many ways, The Village Voice folded simply because its work here was done.”

“The feel-good mantras and fuzzy exhortations to optimism that are rapidly becoming ubiquitous shift the burden of reform away from society…”

Is “safetyism” destroying America? In “The Coddling of the American Mind,” Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt call out the culture of intellectual infantilization plaguing American Universities.

Bob Woodward, a journalist who rose to prominence reporting on the Watergate scandal, is releasing a new book about the Trump White House. Here's what his interviewees had to say about Trump.

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"At 12:42 a.m. on the quiet, moonlit night of March 8, 2014, a Boeing 777-200ER operated by Malaysia Airlines took off from Kuala Lumpur and turned toward Beijing, climbing to its assigned cruising altitude of 35,000 feet. The designator for..."

"“I hereby sentence you to death.” The words of Judge Clifford B. Shepard filled the courtroom in Jacksonville, Fla., on Oct. 27, 1976. Shepard was sentencing Clifford Williams Jr., whom a jury had just found guilty of entering a woman’s house..."

"The video footage of Jewish Israelis dancing with Palestinians at a wedding should be something to celebrate. It should be an expression of joy and joint faith in the future. Instead, it has brought danger and disgrace to Radi Nasser, the mayor..."

"In 2013, I was executive editor of the NY Daily News, and we, like every other publication in the country, were covering the series finale of Breaking Bad. As one of the most popular and critically acclaimed shows in history, the finale was..."

"Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., tells us that wealth inequality is at grotesque and immoral levels. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has a plan to tax everyone lots and lots to solve this. The slight problem is that the Federal Reserve tells us that..."

"For much of World War I, Sir Phillip Gibbs was one of the few journalists the British War Office permitted to correspond from the Western Front. Gibbs’s mission was to describe, in terms that would be acceptable to government censors, the..."

"In the 1940s, sexologist Alfred Kinsey, who was on the verge of publishing his first major report on male sexuality in the US, enlisted a photographer named Thomas Painter to investigate gay subcultures. Painter, a white, openly gay man, had..."

"What was Postmodernism? In the 35 years since Fredric Jameson’s New Left Review essay “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism” — and the 40 years since the publication of Jean-François Lyotard’s The Postmodern Condition..."

"My husband and I are proud fathers of a 5-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy. I was grocery shopping with them last week when I saw a sign that made me cringe. Attached to a basket of free fruit, the sign reminded kids to “Ask Mom” before taking a..."

"Family farms are central to our nation’s identity. Most Americans, even those who have never been on a farm, have strong feelings about the idea of family farms — so much that they’re the one thing that all U.S. politicians agree on. Each..."

"The Big Bang is the defining narrative of modern cosmology: a bold declaration that our universe had a beginning and has a finite age, just like the humans who live within it. That finite age, in turn, is defined by the evidence that universe is..."

"After a protracted siege by the Roman tenth legion, the situation of the Sacarii, the Jewish rebels holed up on the mountain fortress of Masada, became hopeless. The Jewish rebels led by Elazar Ben Yair decided to kill themselves rather than be..."