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At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Lincoln’, 20 December 2012

... as if Spielberg had forgotten he was making a movie or had handed over the reins to his writer, Tony Kushner. In these moments characters play out formal, rather static scenes, little historical tableaux with words. Just before a battle Lincoln chats with two black soldiers, who quote the Gettysburg Address to him; Lincoln tells his wife’s black maid ...

Rachel and Her Race

Patrick Parrinder, 18 August 1994

Constructions of ‘the Jew’ in English Literature and Society: Racial Representations, 1875-1945 
by Bryan Cheyette.
Cambridge, 301 pp., £35, November 1993, 0 521 44355 5
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The Jewish Heritage in British History: Englishness and Jewishness 
edited by Tony Kushner.
Cass, 234 pp., £25, January 1992, 0 7146 3464 6
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... History. This is emphatically a contribution to British, not merely to ‘Jewish’, history. Tony Kushner’s Introduction persuasively shows how both British Jewry and British anti-semitism have been marginalised by mainstream historians. One recent example, not cited by Kushner, was the controversy over the ...


David Cannadine, 27 July 1989

The Social Politics of Anglo-Jewry 1880-1920 
by Eugene Black.
Blackwell, 428 pp., £35, February 1989, 9780631164913
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The Persistence of Prejudice: Anti-Semitism in British Society during the Second World War 
by Tony Kushner.
Manchester, 257 pp., £29.95, March 1989, 0 7190 2896 5
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The Club: The Jews of Modern Britain 
by Stephen Brook.
Constable, 464 pp., £15.95, April 1989, 0 09 467340 3
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... was a major turning-point – for it spelt the beginning of the end for the old Lions of Judah. Kushner’s book takes us into a very different world, as he explores the persistence of anti-semitism in Britain between 1939 and 1945. As far as the public life of the country was concerned, there can be no doubt that such prejudices persisted. Mosley’s ...

I want to howl

John Lahr: Eugene O’Neill, 5 February 2015

Eugene O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts 
by Robert Dowling.
Yale, 569 pp., £20, October 2014, 978 0 300 17033 7
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... boulevard entertainment: ‘a flashpot-and-sheet-metal theatre of noise and exclamation’, in Tony Kushner’s words in his essay ‘Eugene O’Neill: The Native Eloquence of Fog’. When the notion of being a writer first seized O’Neill’s imagination, he saw himself as a novelist, as the latest of his many biographers, Robert Dowling, points ...

How Utterly Depraved!

Deborah Friedell: What did Ethel know?, 1 July 2021

Ethel Rosenberg: A Cold War Tragedy 
by Anne Sebba.
Weidenfeld, 288 pp., £20, June 2021, 978 0 297 87100 2
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... and her own theatrical ambitions. She was named ‘class actress’ in a high school that produced Tony Curtis (born Bernard Schwartz), Zero Mostel and Walter Matthau. But she was lopsided from scoliosis, and when she graduated during the Depression, considered herself fortunate to get work at the National New York Packing and Shipping Company. Men handled the ...

The Life and Death of Juliano Mer-Khamis

Adam Shatz: A Death in Jenin, 21 November 2013

... prisoner in Kiss of the Spider Woman; he performed in Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. As Othello, he nearly strangled the actress playing Desdemona: an ambulance had to be called to resuscitate her. He often got into brawls: with directors, actors, even members of the audience. But he was also settling ...

The Big Con

Pankaj Mishra, 4 May 2023

... smiling for pictures with Benjamin Netanyahu and hailing the Abraham Accords brokered by Jared Kushner as a ‘gamechanger’, as he took charge of Israel’s largest port. Adani’s ‘liberation’ of Haifa, as Netanyahu put it, brings closer the prospect of a rail link between Israel and its new friends in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. His ...

The Uninvited

Jeremy Harding: At The Rich Man’s Gate, 3 February 2000

... a period of government by semaphore. More worrying conclusions about the IPPR study are reached by Tony Kushner, a historian at the University of Southampton, and Katharine Knox, a former Refugee Council officer, in a superb history of refugees in Britain,* compiled largely from local historical sources. As campaigning historians, ...

American Breakdown

David Bromwich, 2 August 2018

... political confrontation to a perilous edge. Robert De Niro led a cheer of ‘Fuck Trump’ at the Tony Awards, and received a standing ovation. In a comic monologue, Samantha Bee buttonholed Ivanka Trump: ‘You know, Ivanka, that’s a beautiful photo of you and your child, but let me just say, one mother to another: Do something about your dad’s ...

Israel’s Descent

Adam Shatz, 20 June 2024

The State of Israel v. the Jews 
by Sylvain Cypel, translated by William Rodarmor.
Other Press, 352 pp., £24, October 2022, 978 1 63542 097 5
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Deux peuples pour un état?: Relire l’histoire du sionisme 
by Shlomo Sand.
Seuil, 256 pp., £20, January, 978 2 02 154166 3
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Our Palestine Question: Israel and American Jewish Dissent, 1948-78 
by Geoffrey Levin.
Yale, 304 pp., £25, February, 978 0 300 26785 3
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Tablets Shattered: The End of an American Jewish Century and the Future of Jewish Life 
by Joshua Leifer.
Dutton, 398 pp., £28.99, August, 978 0 593 18718 0
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The Necessity of Exile: Essays from a Distance 
by Shaul Magid.
Ayin, 309 pp., £16.99, December 2023, 979 8 9867803 1 3
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Deluge: Gaza and Israel from Crisis to Cataclysm 
edited by Jamie Stern-Weiner.
OR Books, 336 pp., £17.99, April, 978 1 68219 619 9
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... a proposal circulated by Netanyahu’s office, envisages it as a Gulf-style free-trade zone. Jared Kushner has his eye on beachfront developments and the Israeli right is determined to re-establish settlements. As for the survivors of Israel’s assault, the political scientist Nathan Brown predicts that they will be living in a ‘supercamp’, where, as he ...

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