Author Archive

Ruth R. Wisse

Ruth R. Wisse

Ruth R. Wisse, who taught Yiddish literature and Jewish history at McGill and Harvard Universities and has contributed to this magazine for more than 40 years years, last wrote for us on the Broadway play Indecent.

A  Jewish child growing up as I did in Montreal during the 1940’s absorbed Zionism as naturally as Canadian ground did the snow in springtime....

“Do you know how my father would try out a new pen?” the Jewish Communist in Warsaw asked her American visitor in the early 1970’s....

Ruth R. Wisse is a longtime COMMENTARY contributor (and a contentions blogger) and the Martin Peretz professor of Yiddish Literature at Harvard. Her newest book,...

The presidents of Harvard, Yale, and Brown, conspicuously absent from the original list of signatories, have since posted assurances that they join the almost 300...

Slap Shtick The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon HarperCollins. 432 pp. $26.95 Protracted hostility tends to tarnish the culture of any group that it assaults. Black rappers and...

By Israeli standards, my friend Gerhard Mandel lived a fairly typical life. Born in Vienna in 1929, he was brought to Palestine in 1938 as...

This morning my cleaning lady E., expecting an affirmative response, asked me whether I was pleased by the appointment of a woman to the presidency...

The New York Times took notice yesterday of a pamphlet-sized essay posted on the website of the American Jewish Committee. Written by Alvin Rosenfeld of...

Poor Jimmy Carter! "This is the first time that I've ever been called a liar and a bigot and an anti-Semite and a coward and...

Dear Ellen, It was great having a chance to catch up with you over lunch today. I don’t think we’ve really seen each other since you...

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth Houghton Mifflin. 400 pp. $26.00 It once seemed as though Philip Roth had come on the American scene too late to...

One of the main thrills of visiting Israel these days is the opportunity to experience the country for oneself. The Jewish state may be the...