Book launch video for Maimonides: Life and Thought

Moshe Halbertal, Gruss Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, and Noah Feldman, Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School, discuss Halbertal’s new book, Maimonides: Life and Thought.

PUP News of the World

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Each week we post a round-up of some of our most exciting national and international PUP book coverage. Reviews, interviews, events, articles–this is the spot for coverage of all things “PUP books” that took place in the last week. Enjoy!


THIS WEEK IN REVIEWS

Science or religion? How about science and religion. You can have both with the two Princeton University Press books that were reviewed in the Times Higher Education this week. Margaret Lock’s The Alzheimer Conundrum is described as “a gem for young scientists and medical students,” and the THE says:

Lock’s rigorous unpacking of research studies and refusal to accept statements and conclusions from research papers at face value result in a thorough and honest appraisal of the current state of the field.

See the full review here, and read Chapter One of the book here.

While many of us are familiar with such famous words as, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here. . .” or “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” we may not know that they originated with The Book of Common Prayer, which first appeared in 1549. Check out the THE review of Alan Jacob’s The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography. Willy Maley writes that “Jacobs’ treatment of the afterlife of one of the most important works in the English language – perhaps the only afterlife there is – is elegant and authoritative.” We agree! See for yourself by reading the introduction.

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We flip to the Wall Street Journal for our next review from this week. Maimonides by Moshe Halbertal is reviewed by Dara Horn, who says:

In his rigorous and insightful study Maimonides: Life and Thought, Moshe Halbertal reintroduces readers to this rabbi-scientist, who insisted that faith should be an enterprise based on reason.

This book provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to Maimonides’ life and work, revealing how his philosophical sensibility and outlook informed his interpretation of Jewish tradition. You can view the introduction here.

Working on your “notable people” reading list? Well in addition to Maimonides, you can add two Franz Kafka titles. Kafka: The Years of Insight and Kafka: The Decisive Years are reviewed in the Australian. Pick up these books, described as “remarkable” and “sublimely Kafkaesque.” And mark your calendar for the third installment. Reiner Stach worked extensively on the definitive edition of Kafka’s collected works before embarking on this three-volume biography. The first volume, covering Kafka’s childhood and youth, is forthcoming.

 

 

Happy Hanukkah!

Since Hanukkah is officially underway as of Wednesday night, we at the Press would like to say Happy Hanukkah by showing off some of our most interesting books about Jewish culture and history. So take a break from your Black Friday shopping and check out some of these Jewish gems!

Happy Hanukkah!

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Maimonides: Life and Thought

By: Moshe Halbertal

Maimonides was the greatest Jewish philosopher and legal scholar of the medieval period, a towering figure who has had a profound and lasting influence on Jewish law, philosophy, and religious consciousness. This book provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to his life and work, revealing how his philosophical sensibility and outlook informed his interpretation of Jewish tradition. A stunning achievement, Maimonides offers an unparalleled look at the life and thought of this important Jewish philosopher, scholar, and theologian.

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No Joke: Making Jewish Humor

By: Ruth R. Wisse

Humor is the most celebrated of all Jewish responses to modernity. In this book, Ruth Wisse evokes and applauds the genius of spontaneous Jewish joking–as well as the brilliance of comic masterworks by writers like Heinrich Heine, Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Babel, S. Y. Agnon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Philip Roth. At the same time, Wisse draws attention to the precarious conditions that have called Jewish humor into being–and the price it may exact from its practitioners and audience.

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How Judaism Became a Religion: An Introduction to Modern Jewish Thought

By: Leora Batnitzky

Is Judaism a religion, a culture, a nationality–or a mixture of all of these? In How Judaism Became a Religion, Leora Batnitzky boldly argues that this question more than any other has driven modern Jewish thought since the eighteenth century. This wide-ranging and lucid book tells the story of how Judaism came to be defined as a religion in the modern period–and why Jewish thinkers have fought as well as championed this idea. More than an introduction, How Judaism Became a Religion presents a compelling new perspective on the history of modern Jewish thought.

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History Lessons: The Creation of American Jewish Heritage

By: Beth S. Wenger

Most American Jews today will probably tell you that Judaism is inherently democratic and that Jewish and American cultures share the same core beliefs and values. But in fact, Jewish tradition and American culture did not converge seamlessly. Rather, it was American Jews themselves who consciously created this idea of an American Jewish heritage and cemented it in the popular imagination during the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. This is the first book to examine how Jews in the United States collectively wove themselves into the narratives of the nation, and came to view the American Jewish experience as a unique chapter in Jewish history.

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A Short History of the Jews

By: Michael Brenner
Translated by: Jeremiah Riemer

This is a sweeping and powerful narrative history of the Jewish people from biblical times to today. Based on the latest scholarship and richly illustrated, it is the most authoritative and accessible chronicle of the Jewish experience available. Describing the events and people that have shaped Jewish history, and highlighting the important contributions Jews have made to the arts, politics, religion, and science, A Short History of the Jews is a compelling blend of storytelling and scholarship that brings the Jewish past marvelously to life.