Elie Wiesel: Confronting the Silence (Jewish Lives) (Hardcover)

Elie Wiesel: Confronting the Silence (Jewish Lives) By Joseph Berger Cover Image
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An intimate look at Elie Wiesel, author of the seminal Holocaust memoir Night and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, Biography category
“An indispensable touchstone.”—Julia M. Klein, Forward
As an orphaned survivor and witness to the horrors of Auschwitz, Elie Wiesel (1928–2016) compelled the world to confront the Holocaust with his searing memoir Night. How did this soft-spoken man from a small Carpathian town become such an influential figure on the world stage? Drawing on Wiesel’s prodigious literary output and interviews with his family, friends, scholars, and critics, Joseph Berger seeks to answer this question.
Berger explores Wiesel’s Hasidic childhood in Sighet, his postwar years spent rebuilding his life from the ashes in France, his transformation into a Parisian intellectual, his failed attempts at romance, his years scraping together a living in America as a journalist, his decision to marry and have a child, his emergence as a spokesperson for Holocaust survivors and persecuted peoples throughout the world, his lifelong devotion to the state of Israel, and his difficult final years. Through this penetrating portrait we come to know intimately the man the Norwegian Nobel Committee called “a messenger to mankind.”

About the Author

Joseph Berger was a New York Times reporter, columnist, and editor for thirty years, and he continues to contribute periodically. He has taught urban affairs at the City University of New York’s Macaulay Honors College. He is the author of Displaced Persons: Growing Up American After the Holocaust and lives in New York City.

Praise For…

“[A] judicious and well-crafted portrait of this remarkable man.”—Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

“Perceptive. . . . Fair-minded throughout. . . . [Wiesel’s] legacy compels us to bear witness in his absence and continue to confront the silence.”—Diane Cole, Wall Street Journal

“Stellar. . . . Deeply engrossing and moving, this splendid biography gives us the remarkable man behind the tortured face.”—Joseph Barbato, New York Journal of Books

“An indispensable touchstone.”—Julia M. Klein, Forward

“Shows Wiesel in all his complexities, as an unaf­fect­ed, fallible man who kept his faith even while struggling with God. . . . Deeply researched and engrossing.”—Maron L. Waxman, Jewish Book Council

“A readable appreciation/biography that has immediacy and emotional valence.”—E. R. Baer, Choice

Finalist for the 73rd National Jewish Book Award, Biography category, sponsored by the Jewish Book Council

CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2023

“A necessary and moving biography of a-once-in-a-generation historic figure and irreplaceable moral teacher.”—Cynthia Ozick, author of Antiquities and Other Stories

“Joseph Berger has performed a small miracle in offering us this moving, meticulously researched, judicious, and learned biography of Elie Wiesel who willed himself to transcend personal tragedy and bear witness in the hope that humanity might learn from the horrors of the past.”—David Nasaw, author of The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War

Product Details
ISBN: 9780300228984
ISBN-10: 0300228988
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: May 23rd, 2023
Pages: 360
Language: English
Series: Jewish Lives