Samuel Moyn

French Writers’ New Renaissance

In Lieu of Memory: Contemporary Jewish Writing in France By Thomas Nolden Syracuse University Press, 264 pages, $29.95. * * *|I n the novels of Patrick Modiano, one of his famous peers, a leading French Jewish writer once told me to look for something: telephone books. The advice seemed strange at the time: What literary power could flow

History’s Revenge

Resisting History: Historicism and Its Discontents

in German-Jewish Thought By David N. Myers Princeton University Press, 280 pages, $29.95 * * *|According to Jewish belief, God transcends history. He started it and could intervene in it at any time. But by means of ritual practices, memorializing events, educational

Four Men Who Resisted History

According to Jewish belief, God transcends history. He started it and could intervene in it at any time. But by means of ritual practices, memorializing events, educational transmission and interpretive practices (for texts and for law), Jews emphatically live out the belief in a suprahistorical God in recognition that historical time matters.