Category Archives: Book Reviews

Books On My Night Table

I still remember the day when I heard that Sandy Koufax refused to pitch a World Series opening game because it was Yom Kippur. It was, to say the least, something of a shock. We, baseball mad yeshiva kids, knew that the great Southpaw was a Jew from Bensonhurst, but we also knew that he […]

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Books On My Night Table

It’s no secret that the various Israeli secret services are quite effective. Ronen Bergman’s doorstopper of a book, Rise and Kill First: The Inside Story and Secret Operations of Israel’s Assassination Program, concentrates, obviously, on the enemies of the Jewish State who are chosen for assassination. Bergman chronicles the awkward birth pangs of the intelligence […]

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Books On My Night Table

Three fine books I highly recommend.

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Books On My Night Table

I’m reading three splendid books, all which I highly recommend.

Also posted in Books, Daf Yomi, Hollywood, Judaism, Miriam Hopkins, Talmud, The Devil's Arithmetic, Torah | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Responses

Book Review: The Scandal of Money by George Gilder

Seraphic Secret invited our good friend Jake Novak to review George Gilder’s important new book. Imagine you’re a carpenter who naturally relies on a good hammer to get your work done. But after years of reliable service, that hammer starts to act strangely. Sometimes it pushes the nail into the wood, and sometimes it doesn’t. […]

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Book Review: For the Love of Wine

As most of my readers know, Seraphic Secret does not drink. Not wine, nor any type of liquor. That’s because alcohol, even the smallest amount, is a sure-fire trigger for a migraine. So, you ask, why is Seraphic Secret reviewing a book dedicated to wine? Well, it’s simple, the author of this elegant and fascinating volume, […]

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Ally by Michael B. Oren, Ambassador to Chelm

New Jersey born historian Michael B. Oren was a Zionist inspired-teenager, who, in 1970, when shaking hands with the Israeli Ambassador Yitzchak Rabin, promised himself that someday he would be Israel’s ambassador to the United States. Like a great many American dreamers, Oren’s ambition was realized — sort of. Oren was Israel’s ambassador to the […]

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Europeans Help Catch the Jew

Seraphic Secret has not yet read Tuvia Tenenbom’s “Catch the Jew.” (We have been reading “Days of Rage” by Bryan Burrough, an astonishing and important book, and a review will follow in a few days.)

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Reading Lunch Under the California Sun

I usually read several few books at a time. I think I have a touch of ADD. Or maybe I’m just intellectually restless. Because we live in Los Angeles where the sun shines almost every day of the week, I often sit in Casa Avrech’s patio eating lunch and reading. Here’s a sample of the […]

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Margaret in Hollywood

Back in the days when Shakespeare still meant something to a lot of people, I wanted to be a great dramatic actress. Before I knew it I was in Hollywood . . . Thus begins Darcy O’Brien’s novel “Margaret in Hollywood” (1992), the story of Margaret Spencer, an early child star of vaudeville and a rising […]

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Growing Up in Hollywood: A Way of Life, Like Any Other

Darcy O’Brien (1939 – 1998) was a scholar of Irish literature, and also the author of several best-selling works in the true-crime genre. “Two of a Kind: The Hillside Strangler” (1985) was adapted into the television film, “The Case of the Hillside Stranglers” starring Richard Crenna. “Murder in Little Egypt,” (1989) is about a small-town Illinois doctor […]

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Book Review: Bina Lobell’s Super Secret Diary

One of the most important strategies for a writer is to set the tone for his work as quickly and as accurately as possible. As a screenwriter, I make it a rule to set the tone for my script in the very first scene. When I write a novel or a memoir, I make it […]

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John Wayne Casts a Giant Shadow

John Wayne’s commitment to Conservative values cemented his support of Israel. Indeed, there was a time when even Hollywood liberals supported Israel publicly, and through generous charitable contributions.  Tragically, classic liberalism is dead, replaced by a postmodern Democrat party—progressivism—that is radically left and infused with the classic Jew-hatred of Marxist-Lenninism. In Scott Eyman’s compulsively readable biography […]

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John Wayne Stumbles Into Overtime

Scott Eyman’s superb biography of John Wayne presents a multi-dimensional portrait of a good and decent man who went out of his way to help others. But out of intrinsic modesty, Wayne never made his kindness and charity a public calling card. Before becoming a superstar in Stagecoach (1939), Wayne was working like a dog, […]

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Silent Star Alma Rubens: “I am a Dope Fiend But Not a Jewess!”

Many persons who have followed my career on the screen and stage mistake me for a Jewess. This belief perhaps was strengthened when I married Ricardo Cortez, my third husband, the only one I ever really loved, and whom I am now trying to divorce. Although I didn’t find it out until almost a year […]

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Silent Star Esther Ralston: Why Do All My Husbands Want to Kill Me? Part III

To read Part I, please click here. To read Part II, please click here. Broke, with her second marriage in shambles, and blacklisted by studio boss L.B. Mayer — Esther wouldn’t trade amorous favors for movie roles — Esther Ralston flees to New York in 1939 to rebuild her shattered career.

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Silent Star Esther Ralston: Why Do All My Husbands Want to Kill Me? Part II

Part I here. Esther Ralston was blessed with a lovely, melodic voice, thus it’s something of a puzzle why Paramount dropped Esther’s option in 1929. Esther was a rising star who, between 1924 and 1929, starred or co-starred in twenty-five films. She was a natural for talkies. But the mystery is soon cleared up as […]

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Silent Star Esther Ralston: Why Do All My Husbands Want to Kill Me? Part I

They called her, the American Venus. She lived in a Hollywood mansion with a staff of servants. Her chauffeur drove a limited edition limousine. But she ended her days in a trailer park in Ventura, California.

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The Lion’s Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War

This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre, which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades. —Cairo’s radio station “Voice of Thunder” in the tense weeks preceding the Six Day War. Jewish history does not exist in the past. It is in the here and now. When yeshiva […]

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John Wayne: American

Scott Eyman’s superb new biography, “John Wayne: The Life and Legend” is an exhaustive look at Wayne’s long life and career as Hollywood’s most iconic star. Eyman points out time and again that Duke—no one called him John, Jack, or his birth name, Marion—was not just Hollywood’s greatest star, but a symbol of America and […]

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