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Coming Soon – Spring 2018
Gershom Scholem: Master of the Kabbalah
By David Biale
A new biography of the seminal twentieth-century historian and thinker who pioneered the study of Jewish mysticism and profoundly influenced the Zionist Movement
Gershom Scholem (1897-1982) was perhaps the foremost Jewish intellectual of the twentieth-century. Pioneering the study of Jewish mysticism as a legitimate academic discipline, he overturned the rationalist bias of his predecessors and revealed an extraordinary world of myth and messianism. In his youth, he rebelled against the assimilationist culture of his parents and embraced Zionism as the vehicle for the renewal of Judaism in a secular age. He moved to Palestine in 1923 and took part in the creation of the Hebrew University, where he was a towering figure for nearly seventy years.
David Biale traces Scholem’s tumultuous life of political activism and cultural criticism, including his falling-out with Hannah Arendt over the Eichmann trial. Mining a rich trove of diaries, letters, and other writings, Biale shows that his subject’s inner life illuminates his most important writings. Scholem emerges as a passionately engaged man of his times—a period that encompassed the extremely significant events of the two world wars, the rise of Nazism, and the Holocaust.
David Biale is Emanuel Ringelblum Distinguished Professor of Jewish History at the University of California, Davis. He is author of Gershom Scholem: Kabbalah and Counter-History and a three-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award. He lives in Berkeley, CA.
By Lillian Faderman
A lively and engaging biography of the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States, a man fiercely committed to protecting all minorities
Harvey Milk—charismatic, eloquent, and a smartaleck— was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 but had served for less than one year when he was shot by a homophobic fellow Supervisor. Milk’s assassination made him the most famous gay man in modern history, and countless tributes including a posthumous Medal of Freedom honor his legacy. This compelling biography explores the complexities of Harvey Milk’s life, from his Jewish childhood on Long Island to his final years as a progressive politician committed to social justice.
As a Jew and a homosexual, Milk felt himself to be doubly an outsider. He was an energetic champion not just of gay people but also of racial minorities, workers, women, the disabled, and senior citizens. His politics were influenced by his Jewish cultural identity and the ideals of Jewish liberalism as much as by his gay identity.
Lillian Faderman is a renowned scholar of LGBT and ethnic history literature. She has received numerous awards for her previous eleven books, three of which were named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. She lives in La Jolla, CA.