Dara Horn


Holding Hands Across Time From Sinai to Gettysburg and Today

By Dara Horn

Holding Hands Across Time From Sinai to Gettysburg and Today
The Battle of Gettysburg was 150 years ago, but that’s a blink of an eye in history. An uncanny intimacy with the past is what Jewish culture brings to American history.Read More


Wearing Europe’s Tattoo

By Dara Horn

Wearing Europe’s Tattoo
Cynthia Ozick is one of America’s greatest living writers. What makes her work breathtaking is its unvarying subject, a single idea that encompasses all that marks American life, Jewish tradition and every other challenge to the world as it is: ambition. From ancient times, the desire to change the world, or even merely to change one’s life, was what distinguished Israel from other nations. But Ozick understands that ambition as we now know it is actually a form of idolatry, a worshipping of fame and approval over integrity. What makes her work not merely breathtaking, but also necessary, is her awareness of ambition’s opposite: freedom.Read More


Don’t Be a Shmuck All Your Life

By Dara Horn

Don’t Be a Shmuck All Your Life
Michael Wex, author of the best-selling book “Born To Kvetch,” is the “Sneaky Chef” of contemporary Jewish culture. Like the cookbook author who advises parents to slip puréed broccoli into the brownie batter, Wex writes books that look and read like snacks, but he hides scholarly vegetables between the covers. Few people who buy Wex’s latest work, cheerily titled “How To Be a Mentsh (& Not a Shmuck),” will suspect that they are about to read a book-length commentary on the Mishnah, and they probably wouldn’t have bought it if they had known. But Wex makes all this go down easy, for that is what he does best.Read More


Sholom Aleichem: Finding Freedom in America

By Dara Horn

Sholom Aleichem: Finding Freedom in America
‘Wandering Stars,” Yiddish master Sholom Aleichem’s comic novel about the Yiddish theater, has just been published in a new translation by Aliza Shevrin. The novel tells the story of Leibl and Reizel, two talented teenagers who flee their backwater shtetl with the help of a traveling Yiddish theater troupe. Sweethearts separated by corrupt theater companies, they each achieve their own successes in European cities and eventually in New York. But while Leibl devotes his talents to the Yiddish stage, Reizel becomes a star of the gentile theater — and always remains one city beyond his reach.Read More


Sholom Aleichem: A Star Shines Brightly

By Dara Horn

Sholom Aleichem: A Star Shines Brightly
“Wandering Stars,” a new translation of which will be released in February, is one of several novels by Sholom Aleichem that directly address the peculiar challenges of the Jewish artist.Read More






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