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Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 23.1 (2004) 192-213

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Book Notes

American Jewish Life

The Body of Brooklyn, by David Lazar. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2003. 163 pp. $24.95. ISBN 0-87745-845-6.

These essays offer a recollection of the author's Brooklyn upbringing in the 1960s and 1970s. His immigrant Jewish heritage and his bodily history form the core of the book.

Making Americans: Jews and the Broadway Musical, by Andrea Most. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004. 253 pp. $29.95. ISBN 0-674-01165-1.

In the period between 1925 and 1951, a time of depression, war, and social upheaval, Jewish musical theater writers imagined an optimistic, meritocratic, selectively inclusive America fashioned through song and dance. The works of these composers, librettists, and performers transformed the experience of New York Jews into the grand acts of being American. Andrea Most weaves together the stories of Jewish acculturation in America and the development of the American musical to understand twentieth-century American culture and the history of popular forms.

Ancient World and Archaeology

Daily Life in Biblical Times, by Oded Borowski. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003. 146 pp. $15.95. ISBN 1-58983-042-3.

Oded Borowski describes the natural setting and the people who occupied ancient Israel as well as the rural and urban economic activities. The book also addresses cultural, social, and religious activities as well as art, music, and the place of writing in Israelite society.

Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology: The First Temple Period, edited by Andrew G. Vaughan and Ann E. Killebrew. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003. 510 pp. $49.95. ISBN 1-58983-066-0.

This volume is a cross-disciplinary assessment of First Temple Jerusalem, which summarizes and critiques earlier theories about its status as a religious and political center. [End Page 192]

Liturgical Perspectives: Prayer and Poetry in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Association Literature, 19-23 January 2000, edited by Esther G. Chazon with the collaboration of Ruth A. Clements and Avital Pinnick. Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah, 48. Leiden: Brill, 2003. 284 pp. $122.00. ISBN 90-04-12162-5.

This volume examines the recently published poetical and liturgical texts from Qumran against the background of Second Temple Judaism, its biblical antecedents, and later rabbinic developments. Topics range from magic, mysticism, and thanksgiving to lamentation, fast day rituals, communal worship, and the relationship between the prayers from Qumran and the traditional Jewish prayers.

Remains of the Jews: The Holy Land and Christian Empire in Late Antiquity, by Andrew S. Jacobs. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004. 249 pp. $55.00. ISBN 0-8047-4705-9.

Andrew S. Jacobs studies the rise of the Christian Empire in late antiquity through the manner in which Christian authors wrote about Jews. The book employs contemporary cultural studies, particularly postcolonial criticism, to read Christian writings about holy land Jews as colonial writings. The book reexamines familiar types of literature—biblical interpretation, histories, sermons, letters—from a new perspective in order to understand how power and resistance shaped religious identities in the later Roman Empire.

Women in Ugarit and Israel: Their Social and Religious Position in the Context of the Ancient Near East, by Hennie J. Marsman. Oudtestamentische Studiën, 49. Leiden: Brill, 2003. 792 pp. $188.00. ISBN 90-04-11732-6.

This volume investigates whether women in a polytheistic society had a better position than women in a monotheistic society. Hennie J. Marsman compares the social and religious position of women in Ugarit according to its literary texts with that of women in Israel according to the Hebrew Bible, while the wider context of the ancient Near East is also taken into consideration.

Art, Music, and Film

Mendelssohn: A Life in Music, by R. Larry Todd. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. 683 pp. £25.00. ISBN 0-19-511043-9.

While seen as a prodigy and genius, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy is most famous as...


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