Alan Kaufman is an American Jew who has served multiple tours of duty with the IDF. He edited The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and The Outlaw Bible of American Literature. He is also the author of the memoir Jew Boy.
A match is one soldier in Israel Defence Force code. Israeli soldiers are forbidden to publish their memoirs and so this is presented as fiction. It is a war book with blood and guts and gore. A powerful account of purposeful aggression; a good portrayal of the camaraderie of small groups facing a common danger and a very fine piece of writing indeed. As an Israeli regular solder, we are given one side of the controversial conflict, but the purpose of this book is not political but rather a portrait of the damage of war on the young men who face it.Comparison: Norman Mailer, Michael Herr, Mark Bowden.Similar this month: None but try Henry Porter or Terence Strong.
' "e;Matches"e; is the IDF code term for a soldier. Among the troops, it has come to mean someone who strikes, burns and dies.' Nathan Falk is an American Jew who leaves the relative comforts of New York City to serve in the Israel Defence Force. But unlike most Jewish Americans who serve in Israel, Falk fights in the Gaza Strip, where soldiers would rather commit suicide that fall into the clutches of their enemies. Patrolling the streets of Gaza in the dead of night, playing a high-stakes off-duty game of Risk with his fellow soldiers, making passionate love to the wife of his best friend, Nathan Falk lives each moment with an increasing awareness of the arbitrary boundary between life and death. Poet Alan Kaufman writes as only a former soldier could about life in the dark heart of one of the most controversial and unremitting conflicts in the world. In this short, brilliant novel he offers an intensely revealing portrait of the damage war does to the soul of a man.
Jew Boy is Alan Kaufman's riveting memoir of being raised by a Jewish mother who survived the Holocaust. This pioneering masterpiece, the very first memoir of its kind by a member of the Second Generation is Kaufman's coming-of-age account, by turns hilarious and terrifying, written with irreverent humor and poetic introspection. Throughout the course of his memoir, Kaufman touches on the pain, guilt, and confusion that shape the lives and characters of American-born children of Holocaust survivors. Kaufman struggles to comprehend what it means to be Jewish as he deals with the demons haunting his mother and attempts to escape his wretched home life by devoting himself to high school football. He eventually hitchhikes across the country, coming face-to-face with the phantoms he fled. Taking us from the streets of the Bronx to the highways of America, the kibbutzim and Israeli army to personal rebirth in San Francisco, and finally to a final reckoning in Germany, Jew Boy shines with the universal humanity of a brilliant writer embracing the gift of life. Kaufman's fierce passion will leave no reader untouched.
Alan Kaufman recounts with unvarnished honesty the story of the alcoholism that took him to the brink of death, the post-traumatic stress disorder that drove him to the edge of madness, and the love that brought him back. Son of a French Holocaust survivor, Kaufman was a drinker so mauled by his indulgences that it is a marvel he hung on long enough to get into recovery. With his estranged daughter as inspiration, Kaufman cleaned himself up at age forty, taking full responsibility for nearly destroying himself, his work, and so many loved ones along the way. Kaufman minces no words as he looks back on a life pickled in self-pity, self-loathing, and guilt. Reading Drunken Angel is like watching an accident to see if any of the victims crawl away barely alive. Kaufman did, and here he delivers a lacerating, cautionary tale of a life wasted and reclaimed.
While the use of intelligence tests is widespread, they are not without controversy. IQ supporters see IQ measures as valid predictors of academic success, capable of proving real differences in intellectual abilities and influencing educational policy. IQ critics such as Robert Sternberg and Howard Gardner believe that IQ is a limited measure of intelligence and that a truer picture should incorporate more cultural and contextual factors.Alan Kaufman, a fellow of four divisions of the American Psychological Association, is a centrist in this debate. As a protege of David Wechsler, Kaufman is a firmer believer in the goal of IQ tests, but believes that the system of IQ testing needs serious improvements. This provocative and controversial book tracks both sides of this ongoing debate. Kaufman provides a historical overview of IQ testing, and approaches both sides of the debate with critical questions, including: how do heredity and our cultural environment influence our intelligence; how does aging affect intelligence; are IQ tests irrelevant for Learning Disability Assessment; what will IQ tests be like in 2030.
Alan Kaufman grew up in the Bronx, the son of a Jewish mother who had survived the Holocaust, her mind badly scarred. Growing up under the shadow of his mother's demons, vowing never to become a victim like her, he struggles uncomprehendingly with his Jewish identity. He escapes from his crazy home life and hitchhikes across the US only to summon again the phantoms he had sought to escape. Alan's continued odyssey takes him from an Israeli kibbutz and the Israeli army to his descent into alcoholism and homelessness on the streets of New York. At last, discovering in poetry the gift that is true to his being, he also finds sobriety in San Francisco.Kaufman's coming-of-age account is written with irreverent humour and poetic introspection. But above all it bursts with the universal humanity of a brilliant writer embracing the gift of life. Jew Boy's fierce passion will leave no reader untouched. Wonderful writing, with a headlong energy, joy, and sensitivity, bringing to mind the best of Jack Kerouac and Henry Miller Touches on themes rarely explored - the pain, guilt and confusion of American-born children of Holocaust survivors