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BOOK REVIEW


Three Books of Interest -- Examining One Survivor's Testimony, Sex and Judaism, and Women in Developing Countries

Three new books in different fields have in common that the integrate the stories of women into history:

Approaching an Auschwitz Survivor edited by Jürgen Matthäus (Oxford University Press, 2009) brings together a group of scholars to individually analyze the testimony of one survivor, Helen Zippi Spitzer Tichauer. This is an unusual approach, which offers the reader an intensive encounter with one articulate survivor with vivid memories. Chapters are by Konrad Kwiet, Nechama Tec, Atina Grossman, and Wendy Lower, as well as  Matthäus. A long appendix presents the 1956 transcribed English translation of a taped interview that David Boder conducted with Tichauer in September 1946 in the Feldafing DP camp in Germany.

The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism edited by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (New York University Press, 2009) includes essays by contemporary scholars and rabbis that survey the challenges that sexuality poses to Jewish belief. Chapters are by Sara Lev, Judith R. Baskin, Bonna Devora Haberman, Aryeh Cohen, Esther Fuchs, Melanie Malka Landau, Naomi Seidman, Haviva Ner-David, Wendy Love Anderson, Elliot N. Dorff, Sara N. S. Meirowitz, Rebecca T. Alpert, Elliot Rose Kukla, Jay Michaelson, Gail Labovitz, Laura Levitt, and Arthur O. Waskow, as well as Ruttenberg.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009) chronicles both the oppression of women in third world countries and how some outstanding individual women have been able to overcome it and then help others. It combines an indictment of gender inequality and its consequences with inspiring stories of women's courage and resilience.

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The Remember the Women Institute welcomes reviews of books pertaining to women and history for our on-line library. Please contact Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel with your inquiries.

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