An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a (Very) Famous Family: Joshua Cohen in Conversation with Benny Ziffer


Joshua Cohen (USA) is one of the most prominent voices in American literature today. His novel The Netanyahus (2021) has been hailed by critics as one of the best books of the year. It is based on a tragicomic meeting that took place in 1959 between renowned literary critic Harold Bloom and historian Benzion Netanyahu when the latter was seeking a position at Cornell University and the former was asked to play chaperone to him during a visit. According to Cohen, he heard the story from Bloom before his death, and decided to turn it into an allegory about the relations between Israeli and American Jewry. Benny Ziffer, editor of the Culture and Literature Supplement of Haaretz, will talk with Cohen about Benzion Netanyahu’s teachings, the conflicts inherent in contemporary Jewish identity, and the Gordian knot between Israel and the United States.

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