Happy Birthday, Bernard Malamud

Of the Jewish writers who dominated American fiction in the mid-1950s, Bernard Malamud, born on this day in Brooklyn in 1914, was perhaps the greatest voice. His writing is not riddled with cynicism or laced with overt sexuality, as can be the case in the work of Saul Bellow and Philip Roth. Instead, Malamud focused on the very vivid and universal lines between suffering and hope, guilt and redemption, limitation and desire while, as Joseph Epstein wrote for us in 1982, making his subject “the ethical import of being a Jew.”

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Happy Birthday, Bernard Malamud

Must-Reads from Magazine

Democrats Go Soft on Anti-Semitism

Shameful.

I don’t always agree with Kenneth L. Marcus, the founder and president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law. But he is without question the kind of person who might have been nominated in any Republican administration to serve as assistant secretary of education for civil rights. In fact, Marcus served in the same role in the George W. Bush administration on an interim basis. Yet Marcus received not one Democratic vote in the Senate Health, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which just voted 12-11, on party lines, to advance his nomination.

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Pod Shut Down America

But they fight.

On the eve of an ill-fated government shutdown in 2013, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof published a column that captured the sentiments of liberal opinion makers perfectly: This was all talk radio’s fault.

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Harvard Rewards an Iranian Hate-Monger

Another dubious honor.

What is it with the Harvard Kennedy School’s penchant for celebrating dishonorable characters? First came a speaking invitation and fellowship for the traitor formerly known as Bradley Manning. The Kennedy School disinvited Manning following a public outcry in September, but now its leadership has awarded a fellowship to an equally odious figure.

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The Left’s Immigration Radicalism

Mirror images.

Observers on the right must have been confused by the controversy that erupted following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s recent appearance on Fox News. What he advocated sounds at first glance like common sense.

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Presidents, Porn Stars, and America’s Soul

Podcast: Is America in decline?

So Trump pays off a porn star and it isn’t even the biggest story of the day. On the second COMMENTARY podcast of the week, we explore all angles of this peculiar state of affairs. What does it say about us politically? What does it say about us morally? And what does it tell us about the condition of the American soul? Give a listen.

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