Gerald Sorin

The Reformation of Morris Dickstein

Morris Dickstein humorously revisits his youth in a new memoir, tracing his journey from his childhood as a Lower East Side yeshiva boy to distinguished Columbia professor.

Jackie Robinson and the Jews

When Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color line in 1947, he inspired blacks and Jews alike. But the role of Jews in baseball was surprisingly complicated, a new book reveals.

Yearning for the Past in the Future

We continue to be in the tricky business of trying to define what we mean (or don’t mean) by “Jewish writer.” Any writer who is a Jew? Only a writer, Jewish or not, who includes Jewish “content” in his or her work? Or a writer, often Jewish, whose work, with or without Jewish specificity, reveals, when read closely, Jewish meaning, values or sensibility? Derek Rubin, editor of “Promised Lands,” is determined to demonstrate, as he did in his earlier anthology, “Who We Are: On Being (and Not Being) a Jewish American Writer” (Schocken Books, 2005), not only that all such Jewish writers exist, but also that whatever else Jewish writing might mean, it almost always embodies a “core Jewish theme” of longing and belonging.

Longing To Anthologize: To little fanfare, Derek Rubin has assembled ?Promised Lands.?

What Is This Thing We Call Jewish Literature?

We continue to be in the tricky business of trying to define what we mean (or don’t mean) by “Jewish writer.” Any writer who is a Jew? Only a writer, Jewish or not, who includes Jewish “content” in his or her work? Or a writer, often Jewish, whose work, with or without Jewish specificity, reveals, when read closely, Jewish meaning, values or sensibility? Derek Rubin, editor of “Promised Lands,” is determined to demonstrate, as he did in his earlier anthology, “Who We Are: On Being (and Not Being) a Jewish American Writer” (Schocken Books, 2005), not only that all such Jewish writers exist, but also that whatever else Jewish writing might mean, it almost always embodies a “core Jewish theme” of longing and belonging.

Tracking Change, and the Lack of It, In New York’s Garment Industry

A Coat of Many Colors: Immigration, Globalization, and Reform In New York City’s Garment Industry Edited by Daniel Soyer Fordham University Press, 312 pages, $75. * * *|‘What’s the difference between a Jewish clothing worker and a Jewish psychiatrist?” an old joke goes. Answer: “One generation.”Actually it was more like two or

Living With the Presence of Absence

The German Money By Lev Raphael Leapfrog Press, 200 pages, $14.95. * * *|Lev Raphael, a child of Holocaust survivors, widely admired for mystery novels centered around the hypocrisies and inanities of academic life, is even better represented by his short stories. His debut collection, “Dancing on Tisha B’Av” (St. Martin’s Press,

‘Stand and Protest’: The Life of a Legendary Journalist

The Pen Is Mightier: The Muckraking Life Of Charles Edward Russell By Robert Miraldi Palgrave Macmillan, 352 pages, $35. * * *|When Robert Miraldi was looking at microfilm at the Tamiment Library at New York University some years ago, he was surprised by what came up on a nearby scholar’s screen: a large photograph of Charles Edward