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Book of the Month Club

Jewish Artists Book Club

The Jewish Artists Book Club features celebrated artists, writers, and entertainers from the 19th-21st centuries.

January

Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films
By Molly Haskell

“Uncommonly absorbing” —The New Republic
A film-centric portrait of the extraordinarily gifted movie director whose decades-long influence on American popular culture is unprecedented

February

Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel
By Annie Cohen-Solal

“Illuminating. Sublime.” —The Washington Times
A fascinating exploration of the life and work of one of America’s most famous and enigmatic postwar visual artists

March

Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence
By Lee Siegel

“Delightfully perverse” —The New York Times Book Review
A trenchant examination of an iconic American figure that explores the cultural and psychological roots of his comic genius

April

Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern
By Francine Prose

“Lively, complex, and inclined to shock.” —Publishers Weekly
A spirited portrait of the colorful, irrepressible, and iconoclastic American collector who fearlessly advanced the cause of modern art

May

Barbra Streisand: Redefining Beauty, Femininity, and Power
By Neal Gabler

“Fascinating and insightful” —The Wall Street Journal
A captivating appreciation of the monumentally gifted popular artist and cultural icon who challenged Hollywood’s standards of beauty and glamour

June

Bernard Berenson: A Life in the Picture Trade
By Rachel Cohen

“Irresistibly readable”  —ARTnews
An illuminating biography of the connoisseur who changed the art world and the way we see art

July

Leonard Bernstein: An American Musician
By Allen Shawn

“A page-turner" —Symphony Magazine
A fresh appreciation of the great musical figure that gives him his due as composer as well as conductor

August

Hayim Nahman Bialik: Poet of Hebrew
By Avner Holtzman

“A remarkable story, superbly told”—David G. Roskies, The Jewish Theological Seminary
A moving inquiry into the quietly epic life of the great Hebrew poet.

September

Lillian Hellman: An Imperious Life
By Dorothy Gallagher

“Sharp-edged, darkly humorous”—Kirkus Reviews
Apart from her many literary accomplishments, Hellman lived a rich life filled with controversial political activity and love affairs.

October

Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt
By Robert Gottlieb

“A terrific book" —NPR
A beguiling exploration of the trajectory of the daughter of a courtesan who transformed herself into the most famous actress who ever lived

November

Proust: The Search
By Benjamin Taylor

“A marvel of brief biography”—The New York Times Book Review
An arresting new study of the life, times, and achievement of one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century

December

Warner Bros: The Making of an American Movie Studio
By David Thomson

Behind the scenes at the legendary Warner Brothers film studio, where four immigrant brothers transformed themselves into the moguls and masters of American fantasy

Jewish Leaders Book Club

The Jewish Leaders Book Club includes the lives of groundbreaking visionaries from antiquity through the modern era.

January

David: The Divided Heart
By David Wolpe

“Vibrant and nuanced” —The Jewish Week
A reexamination of the biblical David, legendary warrior, poet, and king, by one of America’s most respected rabbis

February

Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel
By Anita Shapira

“A beautiful portrayal” —Shimon Peres, President of Israel (2007-2014)
An insightful study of the inner life of the Zionist leader responsible for the creation of the state of Israel

March

Emma Goldman: Revolution as a Way of Life
By Vivian Gornick

“Gripping” —The Boston Globe
The story of a modern radical who took seriously the idea that inner liberation is the first business of social revolution.

April

Moses: A Human Life
By Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg

“A rich, erudite study” —Kirkus Review, Starred Review
An unprecedented portrait of Moses's inner world by the distinguished biblical scholar

May

Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet
By Jeffrey Rosen

"An ideal introduction to Brandeis’ life” —Booklist, Starred Review
A riveting new examination of the leading progressive justice of his era, published in the centennial year of his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court

June

Solomon: The Lure of Wisdom
By Steven Weitzman

“Engrossing, elegant, and erudite” —The Jewish Daily Forward
An insightful meditation on the Solomonic desire to know all of life's secrets, and on the role of this desire in world history.

July

Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman
By Itamar Rabinovich

“[A] fresh perspective” —Kirkus Reviews
An insider’s perspective on the life and influence of Israel’s first native-born prime minister, his bold peace initiatives, and his tragic assassination

August

Léon Blum: Prime Minister, Socialist, Zionist
By Pierre Birnbaum

“Illuminating” —Foreign Affairs
A new appreciation of the extraordinary life and legacy of Léon Blum, the first Jewish prime minister of France

September

Moshe Dayan: Israel’s Controversial Hero
By Mordechai Bar-On

“Incisive, elegantly written” —The Washington Times
Instantly recognizable with his iconic eye patch, Dayan was one of Israel's most charismatic—and controversial—personalities

October

Disraeli: The Novel Politician
By David Cesarani

“Superb” —The Wall Street Journal
A fresh, vivid look at Disraeli's life, achievements, and temperament that casts doubts on his much-touted commitment to Jewish rights

November

Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution
By Yehudah Mirsky

“Learned, luminous and uncannily timely”—Jewish Review of Books
Rav Abraham Isaac Kook (1865–1935) was one of the most influential—and controversial—rabbis of the twentieth century.

December

Walther Rathenau: Weimar’s Fallen Statesman
By Shulamit Volkov

“Incisive and probing”—The Washington Times
A deeply informed biography of a man who—both thoroughly German and unabashedly Jewish—rose to the exalted position of foreign minister in the early days of the Weimar Republic.

Jewish Thinkers Book Club

The Jewish Thinkers Book Club presents the great minds that continue to shape our world.

January

Einstein: His Space and Times
By Steven Gimbel

“Incisive” —The Times of London
A revealing new portrait of Albert Einstein, the world’s first scientific “superstar”

February

Solomon: The Lure of Wisdom
By Steven Weitzman

“Engrossing, elegant, and erudite” —The Jewish Daily Forward
An insightful meditation on the Solomonic desire to know all of life's secrets, and on the role of this desire in world history.

March

Moses Mendelssohn: Sage of Modernity
By Shmuel Feiner

“A fascinating portrait” —Library Journal
The “German Socrates,” Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786) was the most influential Jewish thinker of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 

April

Emma Goldman: Revolution as a Way of Life
By Vivian Gornick

“Gripping” —The Boston Globe
Emma Goldman is the story of a modern radical who took seriously the idea that inner liberation is the first business of social revolution.

May

Primo Levi: The Matter of a Life
By Berel Lang

“A fresh vision”—Jewish Book Council
A groundbreaking biography shining new light on Levi’s role as an important Holocaust writer, innovative moral thinker, and chemist.

June

Rabbi Akiva: Sage of the Talmud
By Barry W. Holtz

“Lively and thought-provoking” —Publishers Weekly
A compelling and lucid account of the life and teachings of a founder of rabbinic Judaism and one of the most beloved heroes of Jewish history

July

Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet
By Jeffrey Rosen

“Compelling” —LA Review of Books
A riveting new examination of the leading progressive justice of his era, published in the centennial year of his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court

August

Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst
By Adam Phillips

“An audacious book” —The New Yorker
From one of the world's foremost thinkers about psychoanalysis, comes a strikingly original biography of its founder.

September

Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution
By Yehudah Mirsky

“Learned, luminous and uncannily timely”—Jewish Review of Books
Rav Abraham Isaac Kook (1865–1935) was one of the most influential—and controversial—rabbis of the twentieth century.

October

Jabotinsky: A Life
By Hillel Halkin

“Beautifully written”—New York Review of Books
An insightful new biography of the most controversial and perhaps most fervent of all Zionist political figures

November

Leon Trotsky: A Revolutionary’s Life
By Joshua Rubenstein

“Exemplary” —The Jewish Advocate
Trotsky was a world-class intellectual, effective military strategist, and master politician, who led an upheaval that helped to define the contours of twentieth-century politics

December

Franz Kafka: The Poet of Shame and Guilt
By Saul Friedländer

“An ideal place to begin...Kafka studies” —The New Republic
From the Pulitzer-prizewinning historian, a captivating investigation of Kafka’s personal anguish and its complex reflections in his imaginary world