The Newsletter of Fig Tree Books LLC
December, 2019: Issue #1
Fredric D. Price, Founder & Publisher
Thane Rosenbaum's SAVING FREE SPEECH ... from ITSELF

...confronts the confusions and contradictions around free speech: do we really want it to always apply without restriction, or is some regulation warranted and necessary when free speech is  weaponized, as in the tragic events in Charlottesville in the summer of 2017, in such a way as to to harm innocent people. Distinguished University Professor of Touro University, Thane Rosenbaum bravely takes on this cultural lightning rod in a provocative and compelling book that engages everyone from political junkies to the general public. Written in a lively and accessible style, Rosenbaum examines what is at the heart of this pressing 21 st century debate.

Rosenbaum writes, “In an era of political correctness, race-baiting, terrorist incitement, the ‘Danish’ cartoons, the shouting down of speakers, the use of the Internet for the dissemination of hate, and, of course, ‘fake news,’ both liberals and conservatives are up in arms about speech and its excesses, and what the First Amendment means. Speech has been weaponized. Everyone knows it, but no one seems to know how to make sense of the current confusion, and what to do about it. This book hopes to begin an honest conversation about what we really mean by free speech—when we invoke the right and trumpet the liberty, when we demand freedom of speech only for the issues personal to us, and seek to deny it for others.” 

Reviews :

This is a brave, incisive book that smartly challenges much of what we take for granted about the First Amendment. Scott Turow , the author of two works of non-fiction about the law and 13 bestselling novels, including  Presumed Innocent and the  The Last Trial
A Filipino-American dancer turned rabbi wants to change the conversation about Jews of color.

“People would say things like ... are you marrying somebody [and] that’s why you’re Jewish?”
APPLES & HONEY: A Small Taste Of Lit
Moments after my father would beat me, my mother would enter my room as if on cue, and go through the motions of pretending that we were still a family.
DON'T BE SHY: SEND US A QUESTION & ANSWER IT YOURSELF: And win the chance to get a free set of our books!

Each issue, we'll publish one or more questions and answers from readers. Now here's the cool part: if we select your question and answer, we'll send you free copies of our books.
The winning Q&A (from Allen Schwartz):

Q: Why are Jews called “The People of the Book”?

A: “Book” is our current technology for written speech individual and interpersonal language made visible. Writing and reading books are encouraged by Jews as sacred to our concepts of justice, equality, and growth. Books are the embodiment of “text”, our ancient interplay of writing and speech known as Torah. It confirms Law and Covenant in Jews’ unique, yet universal history.
Redacted and collected by scribes, the Torah as scroll remains unchanged. It's man-made matter, but as well, it's a metaphor revealing the transcendent. It's complete, returning on itself, yet always advancing. It alternates between sacred solitude and shared presence.
It’s the Book that uplifts us. So we carry it and others that challenge, enlighten, and amuse us—wherever we go. This is what we do.

It’s a good way to be called, don't you think?
CAN WE TALK? Book Club Guides & More

Click on the image to Read a Chapter for Free, download Questions for discussion, learn more about the Authors, find out about Literary Awards won, browse Reviews, and buy directly from Fig Tree for substantial savings.
My Mother's Son (by David Hirshberg), a multiple award-winning debut novel, is written as the memoir of a radio raconteur that uses the inconceivable events of his family’s life and the world in which he lived in the 1950s as a foil to deal with major issues that affect Americans today–disease, war, politics, immigration and business. It has been purposefully set in earlier times so as to provide some distance from the current ‘talking heads’ climate that instantly categorizes and analyzes events from a narrow, partisan perspective.
A River Could Be A Tree (by Angela himsel) asks the question, "How does a girl who grew up in rural Indiana as a fundamentalist Christian end up a practicing Jew in New York?" This devout Christian Midwestern girl found her own form of salvation—as a practicing Jewish woman. Angela’s seemingly impossible road from childhood cult to a committed Jewish life is traced in and around the major events of the 1970s and 80s with warmth, humor, and a multitude of religious and philosophical insights. 
Celebrate holidays with Abigail Pogrebin

Hanukkah wasn’t complicated for me until this year. I grew up with the basics: lighting the menorah (the Hanukkah candelabra, technically the “Hanukiah”) for eight nights with a candle added each night...