Adam Bel­low

The Jewish Chronicle - - PEOPLE -

THE 20-year pub­lish­ing vet­eran, who has earned a name for him­self as ed­i­tor of fa­mously con­tro­ver­sial and con­ser­va­tive books such as “Il­lib­eral Ed­u­ca­tion” and “The Bell Curve”, has a new ven­ture — one which his fa­ther “would have ap­proved of ”, he says.

Adam Bel­low, the son of the late nov­el­ist Saul Bel­low, is try­ing to “rein­vent books for the 21st cen­tury” by reprint­ing in­ter­net blogs as pam­phlets.

The New York res­i­dent tells Peo­ple: “The in­ter­net has be­come the cen­tral arena for in­tel­lec­tual de­bate in Amer­ica, and I saw the need for pub­lish­ing blogs. Blogs have an ap­peal; they are im­me­di­ate, re­spon­sive and re­flect a highly in­di­vid­ual point of view, which you don’t get in other forms of me­dia.

“Pam­phlets pro­vide a quick read, some­thing you can stick in your pocket, and I want to fill the world with pam­phlets,” con­tin­ues Mr Bel­low, who is un­der­tak­ing the project in ad­di­tion to his daily work as an ed­i­tor at Dou­ble­day.

Mr Bel­low, 49, says the idea “is some­thing I dis­cussed with my fa­ther a few years ago. It was mod­elled on the 1920s pam­phlet se­ries ‘Lit­tle Blue Books’, pub­lished by Jewish news­pa­per ed­i­tor Emanuel Halde­man-Julius.

“I am us­ing the in­her­i­tance money I re­ceived from dad to do so, and I think he would be de­lighted.”

Al­though Mr Bel­low ad­mits quit­ting He­brew school shortly af­ter his bar­mitz­vah, he main­tains: “Ju­daism played a big part in my ca­reer and has al­ways been of in­ter­est to me.” He cites the pub­li­ca­tion of Deb­o­rah Lip­stadt’s “Deny­ing the Holo­caust” — which helped get David Irv­ing sent to prison — “as my proud­est mo­ment.”

Mr Bel­low says he hopes to pub­lish more ma­te­rial from the Jewish arena. Cur­rently, four of his pam­phlets are avail­able to buy ($4 each), in­clud­ing “Best Recipes from the Jewish Bl­o­go­sphere” and “An Ar­gu­ment with Hizbol­lah”.

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