Joshua Cohen and Colm Tóibín: The Netanyahus

Joshua Cohen’s The Netanyahus blends fact and fiction to give ‘An Account of A Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family’. The year is 1959, and at Corbin College in New York academic Ruben Blum finds himself playing reluctant host to a visiting Israeli historian, a specialist in the Spanish Inquisition, who has unexpectedly arrived with his family in tow. The historian is the hawkish Benzion Netanyahu, and the family includes his 10-year-old son Benjamin, future Prime Minister of Israel. The resulting conflict of cultures and world views is comically played out in the format of a very unconventional campus novel. He was in conversation about his work with novelist, essayist and regular contributor to the LRB Colm Tóibín.


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