Impressionistic, idiosyncratic, Joseph Bottum’s An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America swoops and veers like the Capistrano swallows he takes as one of the book’s organizing metaphors.  While its concern is sociology, the book is not… Read More ›

Recent Posts

  • Historical Revisionism is Hell

    Veteran's Day 1997

    Mary Louise Roberts, a scholar at the University of Wisconsin who has focused on “issues of gender in fin-de-siècle France,” has written a new book about the sexual behavior of American soldiers in WWII France, reviewed here in the LARB… Read More ›

  • Rafik Schami and the Dark Side of Syria

    One could do worse, in trying to gain some perspective on the bloodbath that is Syria, than read Rafik Schami’s novel The Dark Side of Love, translated from German by Anthea Bell.  The 853-page book has been praised by one… Read More ›

  • The End of Eros

    slave erotic lamp

    In the Roman empire, slaves and prostitutes “played something like the part that masturbation has played in most cultures,” writes Kyle Harper in his engrossing book From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity.  Readily… Read More ›

  • Down the Israeli Rabbit Hole With Shimon Adaf


    the matter of science fiction is the geography of reason; of horror, the geography of anxiety; of fantasy, the geography of desire. –Gary K. Wolfe, “Evaporating Genres” a tangle of oleander, a watch of nightingales, vestibules, blogs that warp the… Read More ›

  • Taking Ourselves Seriously


    No Joke: Making Jewish Humor, the latest volume in the Library of Ideas series launched by Princeton University Press and the Tikvah Fund, includes dozens of jokes, classics and rarities.  Yet it is, by design, a grim read, and its… Read More ›

  • In the Crucifix Kingdom


    Uri Zvi Greenberg (1896-1981) was one of the greatest Hebrew poets of modern times, and perhaps the greatest of the twentieth century.  Before his decision in the 1920s to work entirely in Hebrew, he was also a major figure in… Read More ›


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