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Publishers WeeklyAnthropology professor and author Konner (Unsettled: An Anthropology of the Jews) exudes passion and knowledge while gamely evaluating the history of the body Judaic, including customs like circumcision and the way outsiders' ignorant or malicious portrayal-in all manner of historical art and propaganda (from Michaelangelo's horned Moses to children's picture book The Poison Mushroom)-have come to impact Jewish identity and physical awareness. Konnor also offers his own interpretations of specific Torah passages alongside their historically evolving meanings, as well as more seemingly modern phenomena like nose jobs and "shiks-appeal" (the "ultimate realization" of which is the "Jewish weakness for blondes"). Konner also looks at the Holocaust, Socialist Zionism (and its promotion of gender equality), and the "Jewry of muscles" credited with the victory of Israel over hostile neighbors. In this comprehensive look into Jewish physcality, Konner discusses the most sensitive topics with curiosity, impartiality and an impressive breadth of knowledge.
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