Shlomo Sand in conversation with the New Statesman

The Invention of the Jewish People

This coming Monday, 9 November, I'll be chairing an "In conversation with the New Statesman" event at Borders, on the Charing Cross Road in London, with Professor Shlomo Sand, author of The Invention of the Jewish People, and Denis MacShane MP. The discussion begins at 6.30pm and admission is free. I do hope as many readers as possible are able to make it.

Here is what the publisher, Verso, says about Sand's book:

The Israelites were never exiled from the Promised Land -- and therefore have no right to return. And the present-day Palestinian Arabs are the true heirs of the biblical Jews. So finds Professor Shlomo Sand in the book that sent shock waves across Israeli society.

"I could not have gone on living in Israel without writing this book. I don't think books can change the world -- but when the world begins to change, it searches for different books." Shlomo Sand

After nearly two years on Israel's bestseller list, its translation into more than a dozen languages and winning France's coveted Aujourd'hui Award -- given by journalists to the best work of historical or political non-fiction -- The Invention of the Jewish People is finally available in English.

 

Jonathan Derbyshire is Managing Editor of Prospect. He was formerly Culture Editor of the New Statesman.

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Karen Bradley as Culture Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

The most politically charged of the culture minister's responsibilities is overseeing the BBC, and to anyone who works for - or simply loves - the national broadcaster, Karen Bradley has one big point in her favour. She is not John Whittingdale. Her predecessor as culture secretary was notorious for his belief that the BBC was a wasteful, over-mighty organisation which needed to be curbed. And he would have had ample opportunity to do this: the BBC's Charter is due for renewal next year, and the licence fee is only fixed until 2017. 

In her previous job at the Home Office, Karen Bradley gained a reputation as a calm, low-key minister. It now seems likely that the charter renewal will be accomplished with fewer frothing editorials about "BBC bias" and more attention to the challenges facing the organisation as viewing patterns fragment and increasing numbers of viewers move online.

Of the rest of the job, the tourism part just got easier: with the pound so weak, it will be easier to attract visitors to Britain from abroad. And as for press regulation, there is no word strong enough to describe how long the grass is into which it has been kicked.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.