Religion Book Reviews (page 179)

RELIGION
Released: Oct. 21, 1994

"He's just alluding to sources and passages and conversing about them. (Jewish Book Club dual main selection)"
Rabbi Telushkin (Jewish Humor, 1992, etc.) takes full advantage of Judaism's culture of commentary in this grab bag of quotations from Genesis and the Talmud to Samuel Goldwyn (``Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined''). Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 21, 1994

"Shallow, but exciting all the same. (8 pages of photos, not seen)"
A lively, albeit not very scholarly, account of Jan Karski's role in the WW II Polish underground. Read full book review >

DEADLY SINS by Thomas Pynchon
RELIGION
Released: Oct. 20, 1994

"Richard Howard on Avarice (in a poem), A.S. Byatt on (and on and on and on) Envy, and William Trevor on Gluttony round out the list."
The last time we looked, there were only seven of them — at least, that's how many Aquinas enumerated in Summa Theologica, and Ian Fleming included the same number in a 1962 Sunday Times of London series that featured seven English writers discussing their preferred sins. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 19, 1994

"His depiction of the interplay between ancient history and its manipulation by nations, quacks, and petty academics is terrific."
International intrigue, scholarly arrogance, and eccentric personalities populate this examination of what the Dead Sea Scrolls really tell us. Read full book review >
SANGOMA by James Hall
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Oct. 19, 1994

"Readers curious about this vanishing tribal practice may find Hall's book informative, as will glossolaliacs who will appreciate his lidlotis utterances. (8 pages of b&w photos, not seen)"
Take a journey to Ixtlan—by way of Swaziland—in this verbose, self-conscious narrative by the only white man to have ever become a sangoma, a traditional African healer. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Oct. 11, 1994

"For now, Farewell Espa§a provides a quick introduction that, if a little light in terms of scholarship, contains a fluid and often fascinating narrative."
An engaging, if sometimes spotty, history of the Jews who resided in the Iberian Peninsula until their expulsion from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1497. Read full book review >
IN THE SHADOW OF ISLAM by Isabelle Eberhardt
RELIGION
Released: Oct. 5, 1994

"Though lacking a needed glossary for the many Arabic terms used, this slim volume makes a welcome addition to the information available on an extraordinary woman."
A European woman who assumed the persona of a young male Tunisian student describes her remarkable journey into the Sahara in colorful and textured, albeit romanticized, vignettes. Read full book review >
BLACKS AND JEWS by Paul Berman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"A worthwhile addition to the reference shelf of volumes that debate contentious ethnic issues but proffer no solutions."
This angst-ridden compilation of essays reviews the last 30 years of intellectual cogitation about relations between blacks and Jews. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"A useful resource for the paradoxically ever-evolving tradition of Judaism."
In traditional Jewish ritual, men are usually the primary subjects or objects: They are circumcised, they take a woman in marriage, they say kaddish over the death of a loved one. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"What emerges is a documentary history (albeit in only one voice) of the protracted death of apartheid and an affirmation of nonracial democracy by a man whose political acts are emphatically motivated by his Christian faith."
This chronologically arranged collection of speeches, writings, and letters by Nobelist Desmond Tutu, Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, offers some gripping primary source material from the battle against apartheid. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"A rewarding read for students of Christian theology willing to be challenged by today's multicultural, poststructuralist, postfeminist scholarship."
A markedly contemporary study that navigates the New Testament scholar past the perils of Pauline theology. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"The honesty and humanity with which these controversial themes are treated make for attractive reading."
Twenty professional philosophers tell how they combine intellectual rigor with religious commitment. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >