Biography, Autobiography, Memoirs, Diaries

Article excerpt

Biography, Autobiography, Memoirs, Diaries

Abraham Joshua Heschel: Prophetic Witness, by Edward K. Kaplan and Samuel H. Dresner. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998. 416 pp. ISBN 0-300-07186-8.

Abraham Joshua Heschel was one of the outstanding Jewish thinkers of the twentieth century. This book, the first of two volumes, is a biography based on interviews with Heschel's friends and family, archival documents, and Heschel's previously unknown writings in Yiddish, German, and Hebrew.

In Search of Self, In the Service of Others: Reflections of a Retired Physician on Medicine, the Bible, and the Jews, by Heinz Hartmann. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1998. 225 pp. ISBN 1-57392-230-7.

This book recounts Dr. Hartmann and his wife's escape from Nazi Germany, their loving relationship, and her eventual passing. Hartmann also examines his years of difficult caregiving for his son Michael. Along with the biographical material are the doctor's thoughts on revisionist history, religious tolerance, fundamentalist Christians, the real meaning of Judaism, and the wonders of medicine.

Kafka, Love and Courage: The Life of Milena Jesenská, by Mary Hockaday. New York: Overlook Press, 1997. 275 pp. ISBN 0-87951-751-4.

Milena Jesenská is best known as the recipient of Franz Kafka's Letters to Milena. Milena was, however, more than Kafka's correspondent. She moved among the literary circles of Prague and Vienna, and as a journalist she wrote on contemporary politics and, in time, the Munich crisis and Germany's invasion of Czechoslovakia. When the Second World War started, she was part of the underground resistance until her arrest and detention in Ravensbruck concentration camp. …