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The Jewish Lives Podcast
22 minutes | Jun 29, 2022
Join us with composer Allen Shawn, author of Leonard Bernstein: An American Musician, for an appreciation of the great musical genius who stood at the epicenter of 20th-century American musical life. Music in this episode: Leonard Bernstein and Steven Sondheim - "Cool" from West Side Story Leonard Bernstein - Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety Leonard Bernstein - Symphony No 3., Kaddish Leonard Bernstein - Chichester Psalms
21 minutes | May 25, 2022
Join us with Adam Phillips, one of the world’s foremost authorities on Sigmund Freud and author of Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst, as we explore the early life of the father of psychoanalysis.
19 minutes | May 2, 2022
Few figures in twentieth-century Jewish life were quite so admired and loathed as Vladimir Jabotinsky (1880-1940). The founder of the branch of Zionism now headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, he is perhaps the most controversial of all Zionist political leaders. Join us as author Hillel Halkin explores the life and legacy of Jabotinsky. Halkin will also explain the importance of Odessa, Ukraine, Jabotinsky’s native city, in shaping his character and outlook.
19 minutes | Mar 28, 2022
Join us and explore the story of the prophet Elijah’s evolution from fierce zealot to compassionate hero and cherished figure in Jewish tradition. Hear from National Jewish Book Award winner Daniel C. Matt, author of the new Jewish Lives biography Becoming Elijah: Prophet of Transformation. Music in this episode: Hazzan Brian Baruch Shamash - arrangement of Eliahu Hanavi
23 minutes | Feb 16, 2022
ADMIRAL HYMAN RICKOVER
Join us for a riveting exploration of the brilliant, combative, and controversial “Father of the Nuclear Navy.” Hear from Marc Wortman, author of the new Jewish Lives biography Admiral Hyman Rickover: Engineer of Power.
22 minutes | Jan 19, 2022
Explore an insider’s perspective on the life and influence of Israel’s first native-born prime minister, his bold peace initiatives, and his tragic assassination. Join us as we listen to Ambassador Itamar Rabinovich, author of Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman. Music in this episode: Miri Aloni and Lehakat Hanachal - Shir LaShalom
21 minutes | Dec 22, 2021
Jaws. Jurassic Park. Schindler’s List. Join us as we listen to Molly Haskell, author Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films. Learn how Spielberg’s uniquely evocative filmmaking and story-telling have enchanted audiences for more than 40 years.
28 minutes | Dec 1, 2021
ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL
Civil Rights Leader. Anti-Vietnam War Activist. Rabbi. How did Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Hasidic rabbi from Warsaw, become a progressive Jewish icon? Join us as we explore why Heschel remains a symbol of the fight to make progressive Jewish values relevant in the secular world with Julian Zelizer, author of the new Jewish Lives biography Abraham Joshua Heschel: A Life of Radical Amazement. Music in this episode: Charles Albert Tindley - We Shall Overcome
23 minutes | Nov 3, 2021
How could a man as gifted as Benjamin not see that he was complicit with evil? One of the first Jewish senators, Judah Benjamin (1811–1884) was a confidante to Jefferson Davis and leader of the Confederacy. Join us as we explore the difficult truth that Benjamin, who was considered one of the greatest legal minds in the United States, was a slave owner who deployed his oratorical skills in defense of slavery. Hear from James Traub, author of the new Jewish Lives biography Judah Benjamin: Counselor to the Confederacy. Music in this episode: Franz Shubert - Death and the Maiden, Suite No. 14 in D Minor
22 minutes | Sep 29, 2021
One of the most radically original artists of the 20th century, Man Ray (1890–1976), was a founding father of Dada and a key player in French Surrealism. Join us as we learn about Man Ray’s Jewish background as one filter to understand his life and art with Arthur Lubow, author of the new biography Man Ray: The Artist and His Shadows.
24 minutes | Aug 26, 2021
Son of a tin peddler, art adviser to Gilded Age Millionaires. Join us as we learn more about Bernard Berenson’s incredible self-transformation through the first half of the twentieth century - through two world wars and persistent anti-Semitism - with Rachel Cohen, author of Bernard Berenson: A Life in the Picture Trade. Music in this episode: Edvard Grieg - Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46, III. Anitra's Dance Frédéric Chopin - Waltz Op. 64 No. 2 in C Sharp Minor
20 minutes | Jul 29, 2021
Julius Rosenwald was a humble retail magnate whose visionary ideas about charitable giving transformed the practice of philanthropy in America and beyond. Hasia R. Diner, author of the Jewish Lives biography Julius Rosenwald: Repairing the World, discusses the life and legacy of one of the founders of Sears Roebuck whose philanthropy supported Jewish and Black causes.
18 minutes | Jun 25, 2021
How did a little boy from Latvia become one of the greatest and most original painters of the 20th century? Annie Cohen-Solal, author of the Jewish Lives biography Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel, offers a fascinating exploration of the life and work of one of America’s most enigmatic postwar visual artists. Music in this episode: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Divertimento in E flat, K. 563 - II. Adagio
16 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
Hank Greenberg was a baseball legend. Mark Kurlansky, author of the Jewish Lives biography Hank Greenberg: The Hero Who Didn’t Want to Be One, offers a robust exploration of the slugger's Bronx boyhood, his spectacular discipline as an aspiring ballplayer, and the cultural context of virulent anti-Semitism in which his career played out.
19 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
David Ben-Gurion is a Zionist icon. Anita Shapira, author of the Jewish Lives biography Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel, explores the inner life of the Zionist leader responsible for the creation of the state of Israel.
20 minutes | Feb 24, 2021
Bugsy Siegel was a notorious Jewish gangster who ascended from impoverished beginnings to the glittering Las Vegas strip. Michael Shnayerson, author of the new Jewish Lives biography Bugsy Siegel: The Dark Side of the American Dream, sets out not to absolve Siegel but rather to understand him in all his complexity.
17 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Marcel Proust was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Benjamin Taylor, author of the Jewish Lives biography Proust: The Search, explores how despite momentous historical and personal events, Proust became—against all expectations—one of the greatest writers of any era. Music in this episode: Camille Saint-Saëns - The Swan Claude Debussy - Clair de Lune
22 minutes | Dec 21, 2020
Ben Hecht was one of America’s greatest screenwriters. Adina Hoffman, author of the Jewish Lives biography, Ben Hecht: Fighting Words, Moving Pictures, provides a vibrant portrait of one of the most accomplished and quick-witted writers in Hollywood.
23 minutes | Nov 18, 2020
Heinrich Heine (1797–1856) was one of Germany’s most important, world-famous, and imaginative writers. George Prochnik, author of the new Jewish Lives biography Heinrich Heine: Writing the Revolution, offers a window into the dynamic life story and strikingly original writing of the virtuoso poet. Music in this episode: Felix Mendelssohn - Lieder ohne Worte, Op.67: No. 2. Allegro leggiero in F sharp minor "Lost Illusions" Felix Mendelssohn - Auf Flugeln des Gesanges
20 minutes | Oct 22, 2020
Peggy Guggenheim was one of 20th century America’s most influential patrons of the arts. Francine Prose, author of the Jewish Lives biography Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern, offers a spirited portrait of the colorful, irrepressible, and iconoclastic American collector who fearlessly advanced the cause of modern art.
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