Welcome to the Five Books recommendations on Judaism.
Founded over 3500 years ago, and perhaps the oldest monotheistic religion, Judaism has a poignant and often distressing history. Antisemitism has been a plague of both the eastern and western worlds, culminating in the unfathomable horrors of the Holocaust.
From a literary perspective, our book recommendations examine the rich cultural and literary world of Jewish writing. These include the best Jewish fiction, chosen by novelist Allegra Goodman, but also the best contemporary Israeli fiction. Harvard Professor Ruth Wisse discusses the distinctive nature of Jewish humour, picking her favourite works.
In the years immediately after World War II, the Holocaust was little studied. That all changed with the publication of Raul Hilberg’s The Destruction of the European Jews. Steven Katz, professor of Jewish Holocaust Studies at Boston University and former Director of the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies, introduces the best books on the Holocaust.