Tag biography

Life Goes On

Shing-Tung Yau— My father’s death hit me hard, throwing me into an unfamiliar state in which I felt a weird mixture of things, all unpleasant, all at the same time. A powerful sadness welled up in me from a deep place I’d never accessed before. I felt a dull ache

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Who Was Ben Hecht?

Adina Hoffman— Ben Hecht was “a genius,” Jean-Luc Godard declared in 1968. “He invented 80 percent of what is used in Hollywood movies today.” He “wrote stories—and he made history,” proclaimed Menachem Begin four years earlier, at Hecht’s standing room-only Manhattan funeral. When Hecht was still alive, and invariably kicking,

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David Garrick and the Club

Leo Damrosch— When I got the idea of telling the story of a famous eighteenth-century club that called itself simply “the Club,” I knew that there were incredibly rich resources in the writings of Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, Edmund Burke, Edward Gibbon, and the rest – as well as fascinating

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Ep. 69 – Ben Hecht

A look at the life of Ben Hecht, screenwriter, reporter, playwright, novelist, and Jewish activist whose influence is still felt today. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | Soundcloud

Bridge of Spies

Molly Haskell— Bridge of Spies, Spielberg’s 2015 Cold War thriller and Academy Award nominee, is based on the exchange of prisoners following the 1960 U-2 incident. Full of meticulous period details, with dark rain-slick streets, reliably beautiful in the silver, blue-gray tones of Janusz Kaminski’s cinematography, the movie, like so

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Streisand – Redefining Beauty, Femininity, and Power

Neal Gabler— She always seemed to be an example. She was an example of chutzpah. As one fan would say of Streisand’s legacy, “For me, it began with her first revelation: by shoving a Jewish girl’s face in front of the cameras she was announcing, beneath all the self-deprecation, I’m

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The Legacy of Jane Austen and the Industry of “Jane Austen”

Fiona Stafford– When Jane Austen spoke of being “in love with” Clarkson, in a private letter of 1813, she was referring to the indefatigable antislavery campaigner Thomas Clarkson and his splendid History, which charted the progress of the abolitionist movement. Two hundred years later, the name of Clarkson would be

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Why do readers clamor for books about people they’ve already heard of?

Today we’re sharing a blog post from one of our authors, Ann Little, on her new book The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright. Her blog, Historiann, will feature a post about the book every Tuesday, and we will feature them here on our blog. “Hey, kids:  It’s publication day. Huzzah! The

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David and Moses: The Men, the Myths, the Legends

David Wolpe— David represents one strand of the Jewish tradition, one that these days causes so much pride and angst and generates so much news. Jewish religious history is divided, in some senses, between Moses and David: Moses is the desert, wandering, and Mt Sinai. David is the land, government,

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Eugene O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts

Four seems to be Eugene O’Neill’s lucky number. He was the recipient of four Pulitzer Prizes for Drama, the most won by any single playwright. His most famous play, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, was written in four acts. Robert Dowling’s new biography Eugene O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts, forthcoming this October continues

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