Combining memoir, history, and political essay, an acclaimed French journalist delves into his family’s past in this searing, nuanced investigation of Jewish identity and what it means in the diaspora versus Israel today.
What is a Jew? There are as many nuances as there are Jewish people.
Written 4 years ago, and now available in English with a new introduction, Bad Jew speaks intelligently to our current crises. A striking portrait of the identity fever that has overtaken the Israeli right, and a moving family saga, it follows 3 generations, 3 Jewish men, each involved in public life in his own personal way: Piotr Smolar’s grandfather, a passionate Polish communist, who led the resistance in the Minsk ghetto during World War II; Smolar’s father, who opposed the communist regime in Poland in 1968 and had to flee the country; and Smolar himself, confronted with the question of Jewish identity after becoming Le Monde’s correspondent in Jerusalem.
Deftly interweaving their stories of activism and migration, Smolar explores how intolerance harms democracy, and asks, What should we be faithful to? This important book has never been timelier.