100 books like Martin Buber

By Paul Mendes-Flohr,

Here are 100 books that Martin Buber fans have personally recommended if you like Martin Buber. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Kafka: I Am a Memory Come Alive: Autobiographical Writings

Judith Glatzer Wechsler Author Of The Memoirs of Nahum N. Glatzer

From my list on anthology that bring sources to light.

Who am I?

I am an art historian and was professor of art history at MIT, Tufts, Harvard, and elsewhere. As an undergraduate I studied Jewish history and philosophy and subsequently was assistant editor at Schocken Books focusing on art history and history of ideas. My graduate work was in art history, first in medieval manuscripts and then 19th century French art. I’ve written four books, edited four others, and made 30 documentaries, mostly on art. The French government knighted me “Chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres.”

Judith's book list on anthology that bring sources to light

Judith Glatzer Wechsler Why did Judith love this book?

This book, unique in its construction, gave me a deeper insight into this leading author of the 20th century. We all know and may use the term “Kafkaesque” we don’t necessarily know from whence the term and its experience comes. This biography, drawing from Kafka’s own writings, documents his life in his own words. Glatzer has masterfully edited excerpts from the writer’s diaries, letters, and published works to create an autobiography that Kafka “contemplated but never wrote.” Kafka’s world view, the Kafkaesque, is vividly evoked.

By Franz Kafka, Nahum N.Glatzer (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kafka as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Franz Kafka, Nahum N Glatzer


Book cover of Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life

Judith Glatzer Wechsler Author Of The Memoirs of Nahum N. Glatzer

From my list on anthology that bring sources to light.

Who am I?

I am an art historian and was professor of art history at MIT, Tufts, Harvard, and elsewhere. As an undergraduate I studied Jewish history and philosophy and subsequently was assistant editor at Schocken Books focusing on art history and history of ideas. My graduate work was in art history, first in medieval manuscripts and then 19th century French art. I’ve written four books, edited four others, and made 30 documentaries, mostly on art. The French government knighted me “Chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres.”

Judith's book list on anthology that bring sources to light

Judith Glatzer Wechsler Why did Judith love this book?

This remarkable biography has been hugely important to me in the understanding of the great German writer and critic Walter Benjamin. His essays, particularly on the 19th century Arcades, were the basis of my study, "A Human Comedy, Physiognomy and Caricature in 19th century Paris". Eiland and Jennings biography, based on enormous research, introduce us to this complex and enigmatic character and his brilliant criticism.

They provide a revealing portrait of his brief life in the shadow of European catastrophe. Their consummate understanding of Benjamin’s complex layered work gives new insight into this highly influential thinker. A scholarly work of the first order, written with wisdom and  compassion.

By Howard Eiland, Michael W. Jennings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Walter Benjamin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Walter Benjamin is one of the twentieth century's most important intellectuals, and also one of its most elusive. His writings-mosaics incorporating philosophy, literary criticism, Marxist analysis, and a syncretistic theology-defy simple categorization. And his mobile, often improvised existence has proven irresistible to mythologizers. His writing career moved from the brilliant esotericism of his early writings through his emergence as a central voice in Weimar culture and on to the exile years, with its pioneering studies of modern media and the rise of urban commodity capitalism in Paris. That career was played out amid some of the most catastrophic decades of…


Book cover of The Future of Nostalgia

Judith Glatzer Wechsler Author Of The Memoirs of Nahum N. Glatzer

From my list on anthology that bring sources to light.

Who am I?

I am an art historian and was professor of art history at MIT, Tufts, Harvard, and elsewhere. As an undergraduate I studied Jewish history and philosophy and subsequently was assistant editor at Schocken Books focusing on art history and history of ideas. My graduate work was in art history, first in medieval manuscripts and then 19th century French art. I’ve written four books, edited four others, and made 30 documentaries, mostly on art. The French government knighted me “Chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres.”

Judith's book list on anthology that bring sources to light

Judith Glatzer Wechsler Why did Judith love this book?

I met Svetlana in the last two years of her life and was deeply impressed by her brilliance in literature and the history of ideas and cultures. She died, tragically, in her mid 50s cutting short her extraordinary career, from childhood and youth in Soviet Russia to her stellar career as a Harvard professor of comparative literature. Of her seven books, this highly original study of nostalgia has been particularly important.

A ground breaking study about longing in its positive and negative forms, focusing on post-communist cities such as St. Petersburg, Moscow and Berlin, and writers Nabokov, Brodsky, and Kabakov. Erudite, brilliant, and witty, this is a great cross-genre study of our modern condition.

By Svetlana Boym,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Future of Nostalgia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Combining personal memoir, philosophical essay, and historical analysis, Svetlana Boym explores the spaces of collective nostalgia that connect national biography and personal self-fashioning in the twenty-first century. She guides us through the ruins and construction sites of post-communist cities-St. Petersburg, Moscow, Berlin, and Prague-and the imagined homelands of exiles-Benjamin, Nabokov, Mandelstahm, and Brodsky. From Jurassic Park to the Totalitarian Sculpture Garden, Boym unravels the threads of this global epidemic of longing and its antidotes.


Book cover of Dimensions of Job: A Study and Selected Readings

Judith Glatzer Wechsler Author Of The Memoirs of Nahum N. Glatzer

From my list on anthology that bring sources to light.

Who am I?

I am an art historian and was professor of art history at MIT, Tufts, Harvard, and elsewhere. As an undergraduate I studied Jewish history and philosophy and subsequently was assistant editor at Schocken Books focusing on art history and history of ideas. My graduate work was in art history, first in medieval manuscripts and then 19th century French art. I’ve written four books, edited four others, and made 30 documentaries, mostly on art. The French government knighted me “Chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres.”

Judith's book list on anthology that bring sources to light

Judith Glatzer Wechsler Why did Judith love this book?

In this time of violence and rise of racism, authoritarianism, the Holocaust, the question of evil, its sources, its manifestations matter to me, and anyone of conscious. Glatzer lived through the rise of Nazism and Communism, and, as a person of religious faith, had to contend with the question of evil in our world today, and its challenges to religious belief. This book grew out of a course Prof. Glatzer taught over the years to thousands of students.

Job and the problem of evil was a central concern for Glatzer, as a scholar and as a humanist. In this book he compiles modern commentaries on the theme of Job, from Judaic, Christian and general philosophical tradition, including Kierkegaard and Martin Buber. In his lengthy introduction, Glatzer traces the interpretations from the Church Fathers, the medieval rabbis, and classical philosophers. 

By Nahum N. Glatzer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dimensions of Job as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The contributors are: Leo Baeck, Martin Buber, Yehezkel Kaufmann, Leon Roth, Robert Gordis, Margarete Susman, Hans Ehrenberg, Jean Danielou, Ernest Renan, H. H. Rowley, Leonard Ragaz, Robert Lowth, J. G. Herder, Josiah Royce, Horace M. Kallen, Paul Weiss, Gilbert Murray, Arthur S. Peake, Emil G. Kraeling, W. O. E. Oesterley, T. H. Robinson, Hayim Greenberg, Rudolph Otto, G. K. Chesterton, Walter Kaufmann, H. Wheeler Robinson, James B. Conant, G. W. F. Hegel, Soren Kierkegaard, Seton Pollock, William Barrett, Marvin H. Pope, Archibald MacLeish.


Book cover of I Am Dynamite! A Life of Nietzsche

Adrián Gordaliza Vega Author Of The End of Everything: A society in transition

From my list on biographies for the contemporary reader.

Who am I?

I am a graduate in Philosophy with a Masters degree in Contemporary Culture so this theme is enormously interesting for me. My passion has been shifting from literature to contemporary society and culture in general. I love to find the connexions between the current state of affairs and the past. I honestly think that if we look at the lives and times of the great thinkers we can get hints about the state of contemporary society. Understanding what makes us behave and think the way we do it is my main motivation. 

Adrián's book list on biographies for the contemporary reader

Adrián Gordaliza Vega Why did Adrián love this book?

Probably this is my favourite and by far the saddest.

The life of Friedich Nietzsche is absolutely essential to understanding his work – perhaps to a greater extent than in any other philosopher. Everything is told here, from the time of his friendship with Wagner, his personal and physical crises and his failed attempts at marriage.

Prideaux's book reads like a novel, although Nietzsche's life is itself a tragic novel. Although it is not a detailed analysis of Nietzsche's Philosophy, this book helps to better understand the work of an essential philosopher to understand the current era. 

By Sue Prideaux,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked I Am Dynamite! A Life of Nietzsche as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Times Biography of the Year
Longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2019

'Outstanding.' The Sunday Times

'A revelation.' Guardian

'Wonderful.' The Times

'Riveting.' New Statesman

Friedrich Nietzsche's work rocked the foundation of Western thinking, and continues to permeate our culture, high and low - yet he is one of history's most misunderstood philosophers. Sue Prideaux's myth-shattering book brings readers into the world of a brilliant, eccentric and deeply troubled man, illuminating the events and people that shaped his life and work. I Am Dynamite! is the essential biography for anyone seeking to understand Nietzsche: the philosopher who foresaw -…


Book cover of When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

Annika Thor Author Of A Faraway Island

From my list on for children and young people on war and refugees.

Who am I?

As a descendant of Jewish refugees, from pogroms in Russia and from Nazi persecution in Germany, I grew up with stories of war, exile, and loss. As a writer, these themes have been very important for me, not only in the series of four books about Stephie and Nellie, but also in a novel for adults and a picture book for younger children. As a reader, I am interested in stories that deal with the same themes – stories that may be set in the past, the present, or the future. As a mother and grandmother, I know that good books can help us talk to our young about the most difficult matters.

Annika's book list on for children and young people on war and refugees

Annika Thor Why did Annika love this book?

Anna is nine when the Nazis come into power in Germany, forcing her father, a Jewish journalist, to leave the country immediately. After a few weeks, Anna, her brother Max and their mother are able to join him in Switzerland. They can take very few things with them, and Anna's beloved pink rabbit has to be left behind. 

It may sound strange to call a book about refugees "charming." but Judith Kerr always stays close to the child's perspective, describing both the difficulties and the pleasures of the family's everyday life in Switzerland and later in Paris. This classic book, based on the author's own experience and first published in 1971, is a perfect first introduction to the theme of exile for children between seven and nine.

By Judith Kerr,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

This semi-autobiographical classic, written by the beloved Judith Kerr, tells the story of a Jewish family escaping Germany in the days before the Second World War.

This beautiful new edition celebrates the fifty year anniversary of an adventure that Michael Morpurgo called "The most life-enhancing book you could ever wish to read."

Suppose your country began to change. Suppose that without your noticing, it became dangerous for some people to live in it any longer, and you found, to your surprise, that your own father was one of those people. This is what happened to Anna in 1933.

Anna is…


Book cover of Rahel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewish Woman

Peter Wortsman Author Of Ghost Dance in Berlin: A Rhapsody in Gray

From my list on capturing the spirit of Berlin.

Who am I?

The American-born son of Jewish refugees, I would have every reason to revile the erstwhile capital of The Third Reich. But ever since my first visit, as a Fulbright Fellow in 1973, Berlin, a city painfully honest about its past, captured my imagination. A bilingual, English-German author of fiction, nonfiction, plays, poetry, travel memoir, and translations from the German, Ghost Dance in Berlin charts my take as a Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in a villa on Wannsee, Berlin’s biggest lake, an experience marked by memorable encounters with derelicts, lawyers, a taxi driver, a hooker, et al, and with cameo appearances by Henry Kissinger and the ghost of Marlene Dietrich.

Peter's book list on capturing the spirit of Berlin

Peter Wortsman Why did Peter love this book?

This idiosyncratic biography of Rahel Levin Varnhagen, a 19th-century German-Jewish Berlin literary salon hostess may at first seem esoteric to the general reader. A prickly, contradictory character, Arendt’s portrayal of Rahel’s outsider status as a Jew in a largely hostile Christian society, her proto-feminist self-affirmation of her womanhood at a time when women were essentially groomed for marriage, and her paradoxical mix of intellectual self-assurance and crippling emotional insecurities make for a riveting read. You don’t have to be Jewish or a woman to appreciate the complexities of this prototypical Berliner.

By Hannah Arendt, Clara Winston (translator), Richard Winston (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rahel Varnhagen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Born in 1771 as the daughter of a Jewish merchant, Rahel Varnhagen would come to host one of the most prominent salons of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Hannah Arendt discovered her writings some time in the mid-1920s, and soon began to re-imagine Rachel's inner life and write her biography. Arendt draws a lively and complex portrait of a woman during the period of the Napoleonic wars and the early emancipation of the Jews, a figure who met and corresponded with some of the most celebrated authors, artists, and politicians of her time. She documents Rahel's attempts to…


Book cover of My German Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin

Sylvia Maultash Warsh Author Of Find Me Again: A Rebecca Temple Mystery

From my list on Holocaust memoirs to understand what real people experienced.

Who am I?

I'm a child of Holocaust survivors who spent three years in slave labour camps. My mother told me stories of her experiences a child should probably not hear. The result is that my philosophy of life, and sometimes my writing, can be dark. It’s no surprise that this period of history imbues my novels. I chose to write mysteries to reach a wider audience, the Holocaust connections integral to the stories. During my research, I discovered a wealth of information on the Holocaust but learned that memoirs revealed best what happened to people on the ground. Memoirs draw you into the microcosm of a person’s life with its nostalgia, yearning, and inevitable heartbreak.

Sylvia's book list on Holocaust memoirs to understand what real people experienced

Sylvia Maultash Warsh Why did Sylvia love this book?

Peter Gay was a child in Nazi Berlin in the 1930s. I read his book to see what life was like there while writing my third novel, much of which takes place in Nazi Berlin. Gay was an academic historian but this memoir is deeply personal, laced with self-deprecating humour. His assimilated life (he and his father were staunch atheists) was relatively unaffected by the regime until 1933 when he became a Jew overnight by law. The Nazis quickly stripped the Jews of all rights, culminating in the violent Kristallnacht in 1938. He and his parents managed to escape to the U.S. six months later. Many of his relatives were killed. The underlying question in the book: why didn’t his family—and by extension other Jewish families—leave right after 1933 when Nazi plans became clear?

By Peter Gay,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My German Question as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this poignant book, a renowned historian tells of his youth as an assimilated, anti-religious Jew in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1939-"the story," says Peter Gay, "of a poisoning and how I dealt with it." With his customary eloquence and analytic acumen, Gay describes his family, the life they led, and the reasons they did not emigrate sooner, and he explores his own ambivalent feelings-then and now-toward Germany and the Germans.
Gay relates that the early years of the Nazi regime were relatively benign for his family: as a schoolboy at the Goethe Gymnasium he experienced no ridicule or…


Book cover of Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany

Moritz Föllmer Author Of Culture in the Third Reich

From my list on life in Nazi Germany.

Who am I?

As a historian at the University of Amsterdam, one of my concerns is to understand why so many Germans supported and participated in Adolf Hitler’s atrocious political project. I am equally interested in the other side: the Nazis’ political opponents and victims. In two decades of researching, writing, and teaching, I have read large numbers of official documents, newspapers, diaries, novels, and memoirs. These contemporary texts have made me vividly aware of how different people lived through the Nazi years, how they envisioned their lives, and how they remembered them after World War II. The questions they faced and the solutions they found continue to challenge and disconcert me.  

Moritz's book list on life in Nazi Germany

Moritz Föllmer Why did Moritz love this book?

How did Nazi antisemitism affect German Jews? To answer this question Marion Kaplan delves into the social, domestic, and emotional lives of the persecuted one-percent minority. She reveals how Jews felt when hit with yet another restrictive or punitive measure, when neighbors and friends turned away, when deportation loomed. Crucially, the pioneering feminist historian distinguishes between male and female experiences. Having been less involved in professional and public life, women reacted more flexibly to an unprecedented situation than their menfolk. They were less tied to German culture and more capable of grasping the new realities. Even so, when couples and families finally decided to emigrate, it was often too late: potential host countries were reluctant to allow them in, and Nazi antisemitism soon turned into a policy of mass murder. 

By Marion A. Kaplan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Between Dignity and Despair as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Between Dignity and Despair draws on the extraordinary memoirs, diaries, interviews, and letters of Jewish women and men to give us the first intimate portrait of Jewish life in Nazi Germany.
Kaplan tells the story of Jews in Germany not from the hindsight of the Holocaust, nor from the vantage of the persecutors, but from the bewildered and ambiguous perspective of Jews trying to navigate their daily lives in a world that was becoming more and more insane. Answering the charge that Jews should have left earlier, Kaplan shows that far from seeming inevitable, the Holocaust was impossible to foresee…


Book cover of Berlin for Jews: A Twenty-First-Century Companion

Dina Gold Author Of Stolen Legacy: Nazi Theft and the Quest for Justice at Krausenstrasse 17/18, Berlin

From my list on Berlin and its history.

Who am I?

Dina Gold is the author of Stolen Legacy: Nazi Theft and the Quest for Justice at Krausenstrasse 17/18, Berlin. After postgraduate degrees from London and Oxford universities, Dina spent over twenty years working as an investigative journalist and television producer at the BBC in London. She now lives in Washington DC and is a senior editor and film critic at Moment magazine.

Dina's book list on Berlin and its history

Dina Gold Why did Dina love this book?

If you are Jewish and have ambivalent feelings about visiting Berlin, then this could be the book for you.  Leonard Barkan is a professor at Princeton where he teaches in the Department of Comparative Literature. A Jewish American, growing up in a secular New York family, his book is a personal reflection on traveling in the city. 

Berlin for Jews is part history and part travel guide.  Barkan shows how, in the early nineteenth century, Jews dominated the arts, sciences, and public life and the way in which, despite the horrors of the Nazi era, they left an indelible imprint on the Berlin of today.  The book, described as a “love letter” to the city, takes the reader through some of the most iconic locations of Jewish life and describes the long-lost elegant Jewish suburbs, salons, writers, artists, politicians, philanthropists, art collectors, and intellectuals. And throughout, Barkan muses on what…

By Leonard Barkan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Berlin for Jews as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What is it like to travel to Berlin today, particularly as a Jew, and bring with you the baggage of history? And what happens when an American Jew, raised by a secular family, falls in love with Berlin not in spite of his being a Jew but because of it? The answer is Berlin for Jews. Part history and part travel companion, Leonard Barkan's personal love letter to the city shows how its long Jewish heritage, despite the atrocities of the Nazi era, has left an inspiring imprint on the vibrant metropolis of today. Barkan, voraciously curious and witty, offers…


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