Jo-Ann Mort

Inner Tranquility: Roger Cohen writes that he grew into a “liberal Zionist.”

New York Times Columnist Roger Cohen Opens Up in Family Memoir

New York Times columnist Roger Cohen explores his family history from Lithuania to Africa and Israel in a new memoir. At the center is his mother’s tragic battle with depression.

View From the Top: Shemi Zarhin?s characters live in Tiberias along the shores of the Galilee.

Beloved Israeli Director Shemi Zarhin Tries His Hand at Fiction

Shemi Zarhin is best known for his films. With “Some Day,” set among the working class people of Tiberias, he makes a memorable transition into novel writing.

Vintage Babs
Verbatim Memoir: Many of the interviews carried out are so gripping they are reprinted in their entirety.

On the Verge of a Nation's Breakdown

Samar Yazbek’s memoir is a diary of the first 100 days of the Syrian uprising. It’s an urgent and graphic chronicle of a people’s urge to fight for freedom.

The Butler Did It: Academic superstar Judith Butler has aligned herself with some of the most outspoken critics of Israel.

Zionism and Its Discontents

In her newest book, University of California Professor Judith Butler makes the case for a Jewish critique of Zionism. Jo-Ann Mort isn’t impressed with the argument.

Is this pesto really the enemy?

Jerusalem's Three Unauthorized Portraits

Jerusalem lives in the past and present simultaneously, which makes figuring it out so frustrating and difficult. Three new books take a crack, with uneven results.

The Age of Idealism, Debunked

‘The personal is political” was the political headline for the international feminist movement, and it could just as well be the takeaway phrase of this intriguing new work by British novelist Linda Grant. Chronicling three generations among families, Grant, a former journalist-turned-novelist known for her reportage and fictional accounts of lefty Jews in North London, writes here about a couple who were at Oxford together and lived their married life in Islington, a gentrified neighborhood of London similar to Brooklyn’s Park Slope or Manhattan’s Upper West Side in the 1990s. These were neighborhoods that went from seedy to chic, where former leftists became real estate millionaires and a certain sort of Jewish intellectual struggled for a settled sense of normalcy.

No Remorse: Owners Blanck, top, and Harris were acquitted at trial.

Heroes and Villains, Key Players Who Made a Difference

In November 1909, thousands of New York City garment workers convened a mass meeting at Cooper Union to protest sweatshop conditions. The norm in the burgeoning garment industry included 60- to 80-hour work weeks, flammable scraps strewn around the shops, child labor and providing your own supplies, such as scissors and thread.

A Surreal-ist and a Journal-ist

Though their styles are distinct, poets Adonis and Mahmoud Darwish are two of the Arab world’s modern literary giants and were once part of the same group of writers in 1970s Beirut that clustered around the magazine Mawaqif (Arab for “Attitudes”). Their differences are pronounced in two newly translated collections: Adonis’s “Selected Poems” and Darwish’s “Journal of an Ordinary Grief.”