We would like to extend wishes for warm family gatherings to Nextbook Press readers this season. Janet Maslin writes in her Times review of When General Grant Expelled the Jews, “Anyone seeking to rock the Passover Seder with political debate will find the perfect conversation piece in Mr. Sarna’s account of this startling American story.” The Civil War has always had a seat at the table during Passover. With President Lincoln’s assassination occurring on the fifth day in 1865, synagogue services took on mournful tones, grieving the loss of a leader who did great work on behalf of American Jewry—overturning General Grant’s General Order #11 among other feats. Tropes of freedom and slavery saddles both recollections of Moses and Lincoln.
So in inviting General Grant to the table, and in turn perhaps allowing substantive political discourse at your gathering, here are a few more highlights of Nextbook offerings relevant to Passover:
Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole spoke to Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry about how such a remarkable collection of documents came to exist, the many characters—from Schechter to a woman from the Middle Ages known as “Wuhsha the Broker”—associated with it, and what its contents reveal about historical celebrations of Passover. (April 2011)
An excerpt (p.27):
Also pick up Mamet’s Passover-inspired meditation on anti -Semitism, self-hatred and the Jews.