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The prolific Bloom (humanities, Yale Univ.; The Western Canon) adds to the popular literature on angels, taking the reader on a light jaunt through historical representations of fallen angels, from those in the Tanakh to those of Tony Kushner's Angels in America. Accompanying this wide-ranging narrative are a dozen-plus watercolors, line drawings, and illuminated letters. The book does not pretend to be a comprehensive, scholarly tractate on the subject. Had Bloom been writing from the rabbinic tradition, he would have more extensively explored encounters with angels in the oral law or in rabbinic works. Instead, he mostly relies on literary references and examines fallen angels from a historico-literary and theologico-literary perspective. It is with regards to theology that Bloom may be cited as not devoting enough attention to a crucial issue. Though he briefly acknowledges that "the Satans of the Four Gospels are essentially what we now term instances of anti-Semitism," this is an issue he fails to address adequately. Perhaps a book such as this, mass-marketed for the jolly holiday season, is not the place for such an investigation. For what it sets out to do, however, Bloom's book succeeds. A delightful read recommended for public libraries.
—David B. Levy