“The Pawnbroker” at Fifty

Fifty years ago this week Edward Lewis Wallant’s novel The Pawnbroker was published. While it is customarily described as one of the first American novels to examine the moral and spiritual consequences of the Holocaust, the truth is that Wallant’s novel has been superseded by later fictional accounts that perform the examination with a keener insight derived from deeper historical knowledge. The Pawnbroker is not really a Holocaust novel at all. It is something different. And at least when it comes to the American novel, something better. The Pawnbroker is one of the last examples of a genre that has largely disappeared from American shores — the meaning-making novel, the novel with something to say, the novel with an overt and unembarrassed message.

3
Shares
Google+ Print

“The Pawnbroker” at Fifty

Must-Reads from Magazine

The Only Country with No Right to a Normal Foreign Policy

Glaring hypocrisy.

The news that Hungary’s prime minister will visit Israel next week has sparked outrage from liberal Jews both in Israel and abroad. Opponents raise two main objections. One would be serious if true, but it doesn’t seem to be. The other is sheer hypocrisy–and it’s an excellent example of the way liberal Jews routinely hold Israel to standards they apply to no other country on earth.

40
Shares
Google+ Print

The Iranian Terror State Targets Europe

The Iran deal haunts its sponsors.

In a rare lucid moment in January 2016, then-Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that the Tehran regime would use some of the funds from the Iranian nuclear deal to fund terrorism.

50
Shares
Google+ Print

The Power-Hungry Left Loses Its Cool

Hypocrisy is no obstacle.

In the early days of “The Resistance,” back when the movement was purportedly focused on forming broad coalitions that spanned ideological divides, it was common to hear its members lament Donald Trump’s assault on treasured American norms and conventions. The patina of legitimacy this organizing principle lent to the anti-Trump left’s more unsavory members and tactics is no longer operative. For the power-starved left, it seems that those norms and conventions are part of the problem.

51
Shares
Google+ Print

PODCAST: Which Side Are You On, Boys

Podcast: The pro-and anti-Trump conservative debate.

Brit Hume argues on Twitter: “I suppose you can also be pro-tax cuts, pro-deregulation, pro-defense increases, pro-gun rights, pro-life and anti-Trump. But at some point, it begins to seem ridiculous.” John McCormack of the Weekly Standard ripostes: “I suppose you can oppose sexual assault, conspiracy theories, lying, adultery, mocking American POWs, sanitizing dictators & white supremacists, and still be pro-Trump. But at some point, it begins to seem ridiculous.” This perfect distillation of the fight on the Right is the subject of maybe the best podcast we’ve ever done. Give a listen.

11
Shares
Google+ Print

German Wobbliness on Russia Is Real

And it long predates Trump.

The latest NATO summit got underway in Brussels this week, and President Trump brought all of his signature rhetorical subtlety to the Belgian capital. Off the bat at a meeting Wednesday with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump accused Germany of being “captive” to Russia. The remark ruffled diplomatic feathers in the Western alliance and touched off a predictable freakout among reporters and pundits back home.

85
Shares
Google+ Print