RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewThis was the \'Kishinev pogrom,\' a \'dreadful moment\' in Jewish Diaspora life, Steven J. Zipperstein writes in his impressive, heart-wrenching new book on the subject ... Zipperstein gives us a strong, clear narrative as well as appalling details ... Each of us will take from this book what most resonates with us. For this reviewer, it was the chapter on the poet Hayim Nahman Bialik, who wrote a celebrated poem about the pogrom, following a five-week evidence-gathering mission to the city ... Read in the immediate aftermath of Philip Roth’s death, Zipperstein’s account of the poem’s reception prompts a particular thought. Why was a 1903 poem utterly damning of Kishinev’s Jews so well received, while Roth’s 1960s fiction, mildly satirical of New Jersey’s Jews, so hostilely received (as it undoubtedly was) by so much of his Jewish world? ... As Zipperstein makes clear in his masterly work, this sort of remove [that Roth had from Judaism] was not on offer in Kishinev when Jews had mostly one question on their minds: How long would they be the victims of history?
RaveThe Jewish ChronicleThe Finkler Question is very funny, utterly original, and addresses a topic of contemporary fascination. That is to say, it is about the anguish of middle-aged men, it consists of a series of loosely arranged episodes rich in argument and incident, and it examines how Jews now interrogate their relations with Israel … This is a novel of immense fluency. The writing is wonderfully mobile, and inventive, and Jacobson's signature is to be found in every sentence. Much of the comedy is in small moments of pause, arresting a narrative compelling in its interest.