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The Genius of Judaism


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Global intellectual celebrity Bernard-Henri Levy explores the wisdom and beauty of Judaism-and how Jewish ideas of man and God, of history and time, of power, voice, light, liberty, revolt, memory and nature have informed and enriched both Western and Eastern cultures for millennia.

About the Author

BERNARD-HENRI LEVY is a philosopher, journalist, activist, and filmmaker. Among his dozens of books are American Vertigo, Barbarism with a Human Face, and Who Killed Daniel Pearl? His writing has appeared in a wide range of publications throughout Europe and the United States. His films include the documentaries Bosna! and A Day in the Death of Sarajevo. Levy is co-founder of the antiracist group SOS Racism and has served on diplomatic missions for the French government.


"In The Genius of Judaism, Levy elaborates on his credo by rebutting the pernicious and false logic behind current anti-Semitism and defends Israel as the world's most successful multi-ethnic democracy created from scratch. Levy also makes the case for France's Jews being integral to the establishment of the French nation, the French language, and French literature. And last, but certainly not least, he presents a striking interpretation of the Book of Jonah. . . . A tour de force."--Forbes

"Ardent . . . Levy's message is essentially uplifting: that the brilliant scholars of Judaism, the authors of the Talmud, provide elucidation into 'the great questions that have stirred humanity since the dawn of time.' . . . A philosophical celebration of Judaism."--Kirkus Reviews "Levy (Left in Dark Times), a prominent French journalist and politically engaged philosopher, turns his observations inward here, pondering the teachings of Judaism and the role they have played in contemporary European history as well as in his own life and intellectual inquiry. . . . [Levy's] musings on the meaning of the story of Jonah and the relevance of symbolic Ninevahs in our time are both original and poetic. . . . A welcome addition to his oeuvre."--Publishers Weekly

Praise for Bernard-Henri Levy's Left In Dark Times

"Moving and inspiring . . . Bernard-Henri Levy, perhaps the most prominent intellectual in France today, [speaks] truth to power."--The Boston Globe

"Continually asking himself as well as others to confront the hard questions, [Levy] produces a text that [is] highly absorbing."--The New York Times Book Review

"[Levy's] discussion of contemporary anti-Semitism is sophisticated, detailed and convincing."--Los Angeles Times

American Vertigo

"An entertaining trip, as much in the tradition of Jack Kerouac as Tocqueville."--The New York Times

"Perceptive, pugnacious, passionate [and] exquisitely written."--The New York Observer

"It's difficult to remember when a writer of any nationality so clearly and thoughtfully delineated both the good and bad in America. [Grade: A]."--Entertainment Weekly

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