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|The Will to Live On|
by Herman Wouk
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Forty years ago, novelist Herman Wouk wrote a book about his devotion to the Torah and the Talmud called This Is My God, which remains among the freshest and most quietly impassioned religious autobiographies in print today. The Will to Live On is Wouk's follow-up to that work, although its subject--the particular state of the Jewish people in the 20th century--is very different. Wouk promises to tackle all of the biggest subjects here: "the Holocaust, the reborn Jewish State, the prodigious yet precarious American diaspora, and the deepening religious schisms." And his broad-minded reflections on all of these topics--especially his explanation of modern Zionism's rise from the roots of ancient literature and history--are cleanly, forcefully, and respectfully written. Among Wouk's most penetrating insights are his reflections on Israel's struggle, throughout history, with the temptation of idolatry, and his conviction that the Holocaust at last purged Abraham's people of this "near-fatal cancer." The Will to Live On is a risky, wise book that deserves to be called prophetic.