Ruth R. Wisse

Ruth R. Wisse, the author of the Nextbook Press book Jews and Power, is Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and a professor of comparative literature at Harvard.

The Pugilist

Friends and Politics, Part 3: Norman Podhoretz. The neoconservative icon and I weren’t personally close, but we shared a more important bond, over the struggle to defend Israel and American Jewry.

The Socialist

Friends and Politics, Part 2: Irving Howe. The prominent critic and I worked on Yiddish translations together, but a dispute over Israel and its Arab neighbors ruptured our relationship—until we reconnected over literature.

The Novelist

Friends and Politics, Part 1: Saul Bellow. The Nobel Prize-winner and I shared a love of literature and of Yiddish, but our friendship was tested by decades-long disagreements over politics.

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