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[book] Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pope Pius 12 by John Cornwell (Cambridge College).
Viking. 430 pages. So many people criticize the infallible Eugenio Pacelli/Pope Pius XII for doing nothing to stop the slaughter of the Jews, even though several of his own clerics died for speaking out (Kolbe and Lichtenberg to name two). Why didn't he even denounce the round-up of Rome's Jews? Was it Pius' anti-Semitism and anti-Communism? Was he on a power trip? Did he fear that it would upset his goal for the creation of the Vatican as the centralized Catholic authority? Had Pope John 23 lived, would he have decentralized the Vatican? And why is John Paul II trying to canonize Pius?? Click to read more.
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[book] OUT OF PLACE by Edward Said.
Hardcover - 352 pages (September 1999) Knopf. Who does not know the name Edward Said, one of America's leading literary scholars, as well as one of America's leading Palestinian advocates, Anti-Zionist, and opponent to peace with Israel? As The Times review alluded to, just as Herzl, who felt excluded from Vienna society, took up the Zionist cause for the European Jews with whom he had little in common, it seems that Said, who always felt exiled from his parents, Cairo, culture, and family, took up the Palestinian cause. The first page of this book pretty much told me everything. He was named Edward by his overbearing, Christian parents, not Yasir, not Anwar, not an Arabic Christian, Coptic, or Moslem name, but a name from British aristocracy. But them his own father had changed his own name from Wadie Ibrahim to Walter. Edward was out of place from his birth onwards. He felt out of place as a child of a prosperous secretive family. He felt out of place at home, in school, in the streets, at Summer camp in Maine, and at the "moral" prep school in Massachusetts (Mount Hermon). Commentary Magazine criticized this book in August, when it printed a story that Said was not a Palestinian refugee, but an Egyptian. But Said is upfront in this book about growing up in Cairo, although he visited Jerusalem, went to school there for a few months, and was born in Jerusalem, since his mother did not trust Cairo hospitals. Click to read more.
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[book] Turbulent Souls. A Catholic Son's Return To His Jewish Family. By Stephen J. Dubner.
(William Morrow, November 1998, $24 retail). When Stephen Dubner wrote an article on how he grew up devoutly Catholic, discovered that both his parents were converts from Judaism, and returned to his family's Jewish roots, it became The Times's most talked about article of the year. Now Stephen has expanded on this article by recounting his deeply personal journey from Catholicism to Judaism. This book will easily become the must read Jewish book of the Fall 1998. It is about religion, spirituality, hidden families, parents, siblings, as well as the tension, comic errors, and confusion his search and return created.
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[book] Israel: A Spiritual Travel Guide: A Companion for the Modern Jewish Pilgrim. by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman
(List Price: $19) You save 20% Paperback - 208 pages (May 1998) Jewish Lights Publishing. I have placed this book in the must read section. It is the must companion for any traveler to Israel. The blurb says it best, "the other travel books tell you how to get there, Hoffman tells you why to go and what to do when you're there." Hoffman, a Professor of Liturgy at HUC-JIR, is best known for his book, "What Is A Jew?" In time for the jubilee, this invaluable travel guide is in four sections. The first contains eighteen (chai) meditations to be read before embarking on one's trip to Israel. The second section is on preparations for "the eve before the trip" Section three focuses on "How to prepare while on the way." And Section four is filled with 25 specific pilgrimage destinations for the traveler. For each site, such as The Kotel or a Kibbutz, Professor Hoffman provides THE FOUR A's -- four sections on "Anticipation," "Approach," "Acknowledgement," and "Afterthought." In Anticipation, one reads an overview of the sight; Approach contains biblical, rabbinic and other writings about the site; Acnowledgement is filled with prayers or readings for you to recite at your destination; and Afterthought provides a blank space in which you may record your feelings, emotions, or just plain journal entries. This is an excellent companion for a trip to Israel.
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[book] The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York. by Claudia Roden
List Price: $35.00 before 30% discount. Hardcover (December 1996). Knopf. Great for your home, or for a wedding gift. Claudia Roden has accomplished this monumental task. She has produced a history of the Jewish diaspora, told through its cuisine.
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[book] Annals of the Former World by John A. McPhee
List Price: $35.00 before 30% discount. Hardcover - 624 pages (June 1998). McPhee, one of the best science journalists, has spent over 20 years exploring the geology of North America. This is a geologic history of the US/Canada, and after reading or skimming it you will never look at a rock, pebble, or outcropping on the interstate the same way again.
Click here to BUY this book for a 20 - 30% discount from its list price

Out of the Ashes: The Resurreection of Saddam Hussein by Andrew and Patrick Cockburn.
List Price: $26 before 30% discount. Hardcover - (June 1999). The internal CIA feuds that doomed the secret operations to destroy Saddam .

[book] What Makes Sammy Run? by Budd Schulberg.
$14 before discount. Paperback - 328 pages Reissue edition (December 1993) Vintage Books. What Makes Sammy Run was a bestseller in 1941. Now, over 57, years later, Budd Schulberg, author of "On The Waterfront", and son of the early Paramount chief B. P. Schulberg, is once again hot. This is the FICTIONAL story of a back-stabbing newspaper copy boy, Sammy Glick, who claws his way to the top in Hollywood. Read it before they sign Ben Stiller to the play the lead in the movie. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said of the book, "A grand book, utterly fearless and with a great deal of beauty side by side with the most bitter satire."
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[book] Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil by Ron Rosenbaum.
$30 before discount. Hardcover - 448 pages (July 1998) Random House. Did Hitler have a Jewish ancestor? Was he sexually perverse? Is anti-Semitism part of the German national character? Did Hitler believe his own rhetoric or did he use it to control the masses? Did he have a criminal mind? Is there more that can be written about Hitler? Yes, since each time history is written, it reflects the current times. If you are planning to discuss or quote from Daniel Goldhagen, you better read this book. Ron Rosenbaum has embarked on a personal quest to explain the Hitler explainers and present Hitler not as a caricature. In the words of The Times, Rosenbaum is respectful of most of the Hitler explainers, he appears largely as a skeptic, gently pointing out to his interviewees where evidence is thin or their explanations weak. "Hitler explanations," he finds, "are cultural self-portraits; the shapes we project onto the inky Rorschach of Hitler's psyche are often cultural self-portraits in the negative. What we talk about when we talk about Hitler is also who we are and who we are not."
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[book] The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man by Abraham Joshua Heschel
$15. Hardcover - 118 pages Reprinted November 1995. FS&G. I do not think you will perceive Shabbat the same way after reading this book. Letty Cottin Pogrebin told me that she read this when she turned 50, and it changed her life. It is Heschel's classic, first published in 1951. It is a meditation on the meaning of Shabbat as a holiness of not a place or a "space", but of time, which can be observed anywhere. It makes the observance of Shabbat relevant.
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[book] Miriam's Kitchen: A Memoir by Elizabeth Ehrlich
$25 less discount. Hardcover - 370 pages (December 1997) Viking Press. When Miriam, a mother-in-law and Holocaust survivor, takes her son's wife Elizabeth Ehrlich under her wing, she reawakens Elizabeth's forgotten love of and need for Jewish rituals and traditions. Elizabeth, a Business Week reporter, grew up in a kosher-style household, in which corned-beef was the level of observance. As an adult she sought a greater connection. This book explores the path she took, her decision to observe the Sabbath, and the travails along the way, including the provincialism and sexism of the Orthodox Jewish day schools she sends her kids to. Winner of the Jewish Book Award 1998."
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[book] Memoirs of an Anti-Semite: A Novel in Five Stories by Gregor Von Rezzori
$16 less discount. Paperback - 287 pages Reissue edition (February 1991). One of the most powerful books of our time, from the author of "The Death of My Brother Abel," "Oedipus at Stalingrad," and "The Snows of Yesteryear." This is a remembrance of Bukovina, his childhood home. The 5 interrelated stories depict one man's ambivalent, at times obsessive, relations with Jewish friends and lovers--including his Jewish wife.
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[book] The Boys: The Untold Story of 732 Young Concentration Camp Survivors by Martin Gilbert
$30 less discount. Hardcover - 480 pages (April 1997) Henry Holt & Company, Inc. A group memoir by younger Holocaust survivors, assembled and weaved together by Sir Gilbert, a premier historian. Conatined herein are the memories of some 730 children (predominantly boys) who survived the war and were rehabilitated in Britain, we get an effective overview of the experience of the Holocaust and their lives afterwards.
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[book] Arafat. From Defender to Dictator by Said K. Aburish
$26 before discount. Paperback - 256 pages (November 1998). Aburish, a Palestinian and author of "House of Saud" writes a devastating profile of Chairman Arafat. He exposes the foundations of Arafat's leadership, and shows that his PLO has never been a revolutionary movement; rather Arafat and the PLO have always represented an elite group of Palestinian families who have grown ever more rich. Moreover, Aburish has discovered from hitherto silent but impeccable sources that since 1963, when Arafat first established contact with the CIA in Beirut, the PLO has conducted a secret dialogue with the US, amounting to a betrayal of its people- in effect an agreement to avoid military or economic confrontation with Israel. He makes fun of Arafat for his Egyptian accent, his love of Tom & Jerry cartoons, and his love of lying self-promotion. Yes, the book is filled with much silliness, especially about the US and Israel, but to read what a Palestinian feels about Arafat, it's a good book. To read additional reviews, click below.
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