Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Mark Helprin Explains Why Israel Needs the Bomb

In the Oct. 19, 2010 Wall Street Journal, Mark Helprin explains why Israel needs nucear weapons. [HT: Rick Richman at Jewish Current Issues.]

Mark Helprin is a larger-than-life figure, part best-selling author whose short stories have graced The New Yorker for almost a quarter century, part respected conservative pundit whose columns regularly appear on the Wall Street Journal's opinion pages, and part soldier of fortune, with service in the British Merchant Navy, the Israeli infantry, and the Israeli Air Force.

His biography befits his diverse accomplishments. Born in 1947, Mark Helprin was raised on the Hudson River and in the British West Indies. After receiving degrees from Harvard College and Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, he did postgraduate work at the University of Oxford, Princeton, and Columbia. He is a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy, Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a former Guggenheim Fellow and Senior Fellow of the Hudson Institute. For his writings, he has been awarded National Jewish Book Award, the Prix de Rome, and the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, 2006, among other literary prizes.

I know his fiction primarily through The Pacific and Other Stories, one of his three published collections of short stories. It includes a particular gem, in my biased opinion, appropriately entitled Perfection, which I never tire of saying is the best story ever written in the Hasidic Holocaust Baseball genre. Since that is a narrow genre at best, I hasten to add that it also is one of the finest short stories ever written, period. However it is most appreciated by those readers with at least some familiarity with both Hasidism and the 1950's New York Yankees.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nicely written piece on a favorite author and character. Many thanks.

Dan Patterson

Wednesday, November 03, 2010 4:36:00 PM  

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