PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewWeitzmann, in this impassioned book that swirls sometimes chaotically from personal to historical reflections, sets out to understand the reasons for the scourge and to cut through what he sees as persistent French obfuscation of it ... In moving passages, he describes the deaths of his father, who worked for a theater company, and his great-uncle, a Resistance war hero. Both men, at the ends of their lives, had to endure signs of France’s anti-Semitic reawakening ... Hate is at times a sloppy, frustrating and repetitive book. It aspires to reportage without much of the hard-won, on-the-ground reporting needed to undergird that ambition. It often reads as awkwardly translated French ... It can veer close to psychobabble ... But it is redeemed by often illuminating intensity as it grapples with an unresolved French and European quandary ... [Weitzmann] is cleareyed about what the banal anti-Semitism coursing through blighted projects has wrought. What Weitzmann does not do is propose solutions, even if one is implicit in his unflinching account: France needs an honest confrontation with the untamed demons in its midst.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewSimon Schama’s Belonging: 1492-1900, the second volume of his panoramic study of Jewish life, The Story of the Jews, is in fact an account of serial exile ...book begins around the time of the Spanish Inquisition and ends with the Dreyfus case, a 400-year round trip back to the same Jewish question ... Belonging is not, then, an ironic title. It was the core dilemma of the Jews across these four centuries. It was their constant quest (and equally constant worry), neither quite attainable nor, it seemed, definitively out of reach ...a remarkable storyteller. His approach is cinematic. He sets scenes with great vividness and writes, from street level, with an unflagging verve ...cascading, virtuoso narrative. The effect is kaleidoscopic, if occasionally disorienting ...is a riveting picture, gorgeously rendered, of the stubborn, argumentative miracle of Jewish survival against the odds.
Robert F. Worth
RaveThe New York TimesFive years on, Tahrir has the quality of a dream. Read Worth’s remarkable new book, A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, From Tahrir Square to ISIS, and weep. The chasm between the civic spirit of the square and the brutal theocracy of the Islamic State reveals the extent of the failure. The book is a beautifully written chronicle, told through the struggles of ordinary people, of shattered hopes, lives, families and societies. Worth excavates the personal wounds revelatory of larger betrayals ... Worth does not judge. He reveals.