February 2, 1996
Book on Shakespeare and Jews Explores English Identity
James Shapiro says most scholars have only one passionate book in them. For him, it's Shakespeare and the Jews, just published by Columbia University Press.
The book is not so much about Shakespeare as it is about the culture of which he was a part. Nor is it about the Jews so much as English attitudes toward them.
Mr. Shapiro, a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia, argues that scholars have overlooked the role that Jews played in helping the