First, if you didn’t get a chance to read my blog post from yesterday on the uncomfortable topic of Jews and money, read it here. The feedback has been strong, so read the full thing, but here’s what it’s about: I give a brief summary of historian Jerry Muller’s important book "Capitalism and the Jews," and Abraham Foxman’s less successful attempt, "Jews and Money: The Story of A Stereotype." And with Glenn Beck duking it out with George Soros, not to mention Al Pacino’s raved about performance in "The Merchant of Venice," which opened this week on Broadway, it’s as good a time as any to address the topic.
Second, my real work: a feature about the new collection of Saul Bellow’s letters. I sat down with the collection’s editor, Benjamin Taylor, a talented novelist in his own right, and got the backstory on the whole project. It begins with Philip Roth, a mutual friend of both Taylor and Bellow, and ends with a 500-odd page book full of titillating details on Saul Bellow’s life: his love for Israel, his disappointment with its policies, and his deep sense of guilt over the Holocaust. Read the full story here.