Fig Tree Books Blog

Our blog features essays from the publisher and editors, book reviews and appreciations, coverage of FTB titles, and noteworthy news of American Jewish experience.

Predictions

By Fredric Price

January 18, 2021

We asked a group of our readers what their predictions were about what life would be like for Americans in general and American Jews in particular in 2021. What follows is an amalgamation of their responses, which are, in a word, pessimistic. Question – What is your set of predictions for Americans in general and […]

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Anno Horribilis

By Fredric Price

December 31, 2020

Well-known cultural anthropologist Wade Davis wrote a provocative article for Rolling Stone in August, titled ‘The Unraveling of America’. You can read it here: http://bit.ly/2Mftf3z. Among other pull-out quotes, this one stands out as the basic set-up of his message: “The COVID pandemic will be remembered as such a moment in history, a seminal event […]

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How to Fight Anti-Semitism – mini book review

By Fredric Price

December 10, 2020

I have some friends who think we are living in a period of deja vu that relates to what was going on in Germany just prior to Hitler assuming the chancellor’s position in 1933. Other think that this is a wild exaggeration, that we are going through a period of ‘lone wolf’ attacks that are […]

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Thanksgiving 2020

By Fredric Price

November 25, 2020

Thinking about some of the myths about our country that have been raised during the shouting leading up to and after the recent election (which I won’t go into now as I’m finally able to take a deep breath and calm down) has got me thinking about the myth of Thanksgiving, coming up tomorrow. Yes, […]

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Can we reduce the chasm of the great partisan divide in the US?

By Fredric Price

November 22, 2020

From Guest Blogger Yoel Magid What can we do from a communications point of view to reduce the chasm of the great partisan divide in the US? As so many commentators have noted, the divisions within our country are to a large extent a product of differing sources of information and the growing role of […]

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Salute to my maternal grandfather

By Fredric Price

November 4, 2020

November 1 would have been the 130th birthday of my maternal grandfather, Bill Hirshberg. He was born in the States in 1890, and was a major presence in my life. So much so that when I adopted a pseudonym as an author, I chose his last name. (I use the first name of my father-in-law, […]

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2 Books that are Must Reads During these Troubling Times

By Fredric Price

October 8, 2020

During these very troubling times, with a president who, in my opinion, is acting in dangerous and dare I say unhinged ways, it’s worthwhile to note that we’ve been through this before. Seriously. Annette Gordon-Reed gives us an up-close look into Andrew Johnson, a vile, stubborn man whose admiration for the antebellum southern white way […]

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Outside for the Holidays — Reconnecting with nature on Rosh Hashanah

By Fredric Price

September 21, 2020

Guest Blog By Lisa Trank For some, Rosh Hashanah means davening in synagogue. For me, this time of year has come to signify something else: stepping outside the confines of the synagogue, and reconnecting to the natural world. I grew up in an observant Reform Jewish household in Southern California in the 1960s. This translated […]

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Free Speech

By Fredric Price

September 14, 2020

Jews have historically been at the forefront of the Free Speech Movement in the United States.  Indeed, it was Jewish lawyers, working at the ACLU, who defended the right of neo-Nazis to assemble and march in Skokie, Illinois in 1977.  That case became a signature statement of the free speech priorities of the United States.  […]

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Brief review of Tightrope

By Fredric Price

September 8, 2020

What to know how the other half lives? Why there’s a big divide in the U.S.? How we got to where we are in terms of a disappearing middle class and a sense of hopelessness? You may be shocked into doing something after you’ve read this excellent book. Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope by Nicholas […]

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