Page 46 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 6 (1947-1948)

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JEWI SH BOOK ANNUAL
36
The more the movement grows, the greater the interest in his life.
Star over Jordan
; the life of Theodor Herzl by Joseph P a ta i;
translated from the Hungarian by Francis Magyar (New York,
Philosophical Library, 1946) is a warm contribution by an Hun-
garian Jewish poet, who as a student saw Herzl, and has now
lovingly sketched some of the more salient incidents in the ex-
perience of the master builder of the Zionist organization.
Some of the very problems which Herzl had hoped to solve are
involved in tragedy which led to the suicide of O tto Weininger.
The mind and death of a genius
by Dr. David Abrahamsen (New
York, Columbia University Press, 1946) presents the story of
Weininger in which a competent psychiatrist probes the mind of a
Jew, who at the age of 23 was driven to suicide by his self-hatred.
I t is a psychological appraisal of the character and work of the
author of
Sex and character
which appeared at the time of the
First World War.
A full-length biography of a famous unconventional nineteenth
century actress is offered in
Enchanting rebels
the secret of Adah
Isaacs Menken by Allen Lesser (New York, Beechhurst, 1947)
which reads like a fascinating novel. I t is the story of the Menken
who was more than a beautiful woman and a famous “naked”
actress. She fought for woman’s rights and propagandized for
peace before the Civil War, and finally became one of the first
Americans to publicly protest the persecution of Jews in Europe.
In
The life of Judah Touro
(1775-1854) by Leon Huhner (Phila-
delphia, Jewish Publication Society of America, 1946) one meets
with a modest, but readable, biography of a famous contemporary
of hers. An eminent citizen of Newport, R. I., Touro was a great
American merchant, philanthropist, soldier and Jew.
A delightful book is
Burning lights
by Bella [Rosenfeld] Chagall,
translated from the Yiddish by Norbert Guterman (New York,
Schocken, 1946). The thirty-six original drawings by Marc
Chagall tha t it contains are intimately connected with the stories
in the book. This nostalgic juvenile autobiography of his late
wife was originally published in Yiddish (New York, 1945). In
a simple disarming style she describes her life in a Russian town
and incidentally the lives of her parents and all those around her.
Men, women, children, houses, trees, kitchen smells, voices — all
come to life as soon as they are touched by her magic hand. I t is
a book which recreates her childhood in the now-vanished Jewry
of eastern Europe, the same world th a t inspired the magic a r t
of her husband.
Autobiographical in character are certainly the tender
Letters
written by an American soldier mutilated in the last war
by Abraham
Ben Ami (Downingtown, Pa., Abraham Gonsenberg, 1946) and