The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate

ISBN 13: 9780226100234

The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate

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9780226100234: The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate
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Creation versus evolution. Nature versus nurture. Free will versus determinism. Every November at the University of Chicago, the best minds in the world consider the question that ranks with these as one of the most enduring of human history: latke or hamantash? This great latke-hamantash debate, occurring every year for the past six decades, brings Nobel laureates, university presidents, and notable scholars together to debate whether the potato pancake or the triangular Purim pastry is in fact the worthier food.

What began as an informal gathering is now an institution that has been replicated on campuses nationwide. Highly absurd yet deeply serious, the annual debate is an
opportunity for both ethnic celebration and academic farce. In poetry, essays, jokes, and revisionist histories, members of elite American academies attack the latke-versus-hamantash question with intellectual panache and an unerring sense of humor, if not chutzpah. The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate is the first collection of the best of these performances, from Martha Nussbaum's paean to both foods—in the style of Hecuba's Lament—to Nobel laureate Leon Lederman's proclamation on the union of the celebrated dyad. The latke and the hamantash are here revealed as playing a critical role in everything from Chinese history to the Renaissance, the works of Jane Austen to constitutional law.

Philosopher and humorist Ted Cohen supplies a wry foreword, while anthropologist Ruth Fredman Cernea provides historical and social context as well as an overview of the Jewish holidays, latke and hamantash recipes, and a glossary of Yiddish and Hebrew terms, making the book accessible even to the uninitiated. The University of Chicago may have split the atom in 1942, but it's still working on the equally significant issue of the latke versus the hamantash.

“As if we didn’t have enough on our plates, here’s something new to argue about. . . . To have to pick between sweet and savory, round and triangular, latke and hamantash. How to choose? . . . Thank goodness one of our great universities—Chicago, no less—is on the case. For more than 60 years, it has staged an annual latke-hamantash debate. . . . So, is this book funny? Of course it’s funny, even laugh-out-loud funny. It’s Mickey Katz in academic drag, Borscht Belt with a PhD.”—David Kaufmann, Forward

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About the Author:

Ted Cohen (1939-2014) was a professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago from 1967 until his death. He was the auhor of Jokes: Philosophical Thoughts on Joking Matters and Thinking of Others: On the Talent for Metaphor and co-editor of Essays in Kant's Aesthetics and Pursuits of Reason: Essays in Honor of Stanley Cavell.

Review:

“Lincoln-Douglas, Kennedy-Nixon, Latke-Hamantash: the great tradition of American public oratory reaches a comic peak with the annual exchanges at the University of Chicago debating the merits of greasy potato pancakes versus heavy, prune-filled triangular pastries. No funnier intellectual tradition exists than these debates; argued by scholars from Allan Bloom to Martha Nussbaum, the debates here chronicled will cause almost as much of a belly ache (from laughter) as eating latkes or hamantashen.”

(Sander L. Gilman, author of Jewish Frontiers)

“This work captures the wistful magic of a vehicle that classically symbolizes the blossoming of Jewish wit and wisdom in the intellectual cauldron of the university. The latke-hamantash debate represents how timeless Jewish ideas and ideals can find expression on campus, marrying Western thought with Jewish humor, history, and philosophy in a distinct concoction that reaches us all.”--Richard M. Joel, President, Yeshiva University

(Richard M. Joel)

“Oy! What can I tell you? You want to revel in a festival of intellectual Jewish humor, even if you’re a goy like me? Especially if you’re a goy? So why don’t you buy this book and curl up in front of a fireplace and laugh yourself sick!”--Father Andrew M. Greeley



 

(Father Andrew M. Greeley)

"As if we didn't have enough on our plates, here's something new to argue about. . . . To have to pick between sweet and savory, round and triangular, latke and hamantash. How to choose? . . . Thank goodness one of our great universities—Chicago, no less—is on the case. For more than 60 years, it has staged an annual latke-hamantash debate. . . . So, is this book funny? Of course it's funny, even laugh-out-loud funny. It's Mickey Katz in academic drag, Borscht Belt with a PhD." (Davd Kaufmann Forward 2005-11-17)

"Esoteric yes, but a real hoot." (Chicago Tribune)

“For six decades, some of the finest Jewish minds in America have broken their wits on the ultimate question. Which is superior: the oily potato pancake we consume on Chanucah, or the triangular prune- or poppy-filled Purim pastry?”

(Jewish Chronicle (London))

“Every November, the University of Chicago celebrates the coming holiday season with a take-no-prisoners, academic smackdown. For an entire evening, disciplines are attached and defended, the political becomes personal and a particular issue is argued with a fervor not seen since Nikita Khrushchev banged his shoe at the United Nations. . . . The issue: the relative merits of the latke and the hamantash. . . . This is a book that will make your mouth water and your sides shake. Letting down their proverbial hair, professors, Nobel Laureates and university presidents all take a turn at the podium, and the results are hilarious."

(Jewish Herald-Voice (Houston TX))

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9780226100241: The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate

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Publisher: University of Chicago Press, 2006
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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2005. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Creation versus evolution. Nature versus nurture. Free will versus determinism. Every November at the University of Chicago, the best minds in the world consider the question that ranks with these as one of the most enduring of human history: latke or hamantash? This great latke-hamantash debate, occurring every year for the past six decades, brings Nobel laureates, university presidents, and notable scholars together to debate whether the potato pancake or the triangular Purim pastry is in fact the worthier food. What began as an informal gathering is now an institution that has been replicated on campuses nationwide. Highly absurd yet deeply serious, the annual debate is an opportunity for both ethnic celebration and academic farce. In poetry, essays, jokes, and revisionist histories, members of elite American academies attack the latke-versus-hamantash question with intellectual panache and an unerring sense of humor, if not chutzpah. The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate is the first collection of the best of these performances, from Martha Nussbaum s paean to both foods - in the style of Hecuba s Lament - to Nobel laureate Leon Lederman s proclamation on the union of the celebrated dyad. The latke and the hamantash are here revealed as playing a critical role in everything from Chinese history to the Renaissance, the works of Jane Austen to constitutional law. Eminent philosopher and humorist Ted Cohen supplies a wry foreword, and anthropologist Ruth Fredman Cernea provides a larger context with her overview of the Jewish holidays, recipes, and a glossary of Yiddish and Hebrew terms, making the book accessible even to the uninitiated. The University of Chicago may have split the atom in 1942, but it s still working on the equally significant issue of the latke versus the hamantash. Seller Inventory # AAH9780226100234

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2005. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Creation versus evolution. Nature versus nurture. Free will versus determinism. Every November at the University of Chicago, the best minds in the world consider the question that ranks with these as one of the most enduring of human history: latke or hamantash? This great latke-hamantash debate, occurring every year for the past six decades, brings Nobel laureates, university presidents, and notable scholars together to debate whether the potato pancake or the triangular Purim pastry is in fact the worthier food. What began as an informal gathering is now an institution that has been replicated on campuses nationwide. Highly absurd yet deeply serious, the annual debate is an opportunity for both ethnic celebration and academic farce. In poetry, essays, jokes, and revisionist histories, members of elite American academies attack the latke-versus-hamantash question with intellectual panache and an unerring sense of humor, if not chutzpah. The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate is the first collection of the best of these performances, from Martha Nussbaum s paean to both foods - in the style of Hecuba s Lament - to Nobel laureate Leon Lederman s proclamation on the union of the celebrated dyad. The latke and the hamantash are here revealed as playing a critical role in everything from Chinese history to the Renaissance, the works of Jane Austen to constitutional law. Eminent philosopher and humorist Ted Cohen supplies a wry foreword, and anthropologist Ruth Fredman Cernea provides a larger context with her overview of the Jewish holidays, recipes, and a glossary of Yiddish and Hebrew terms, making the book accessible even to the uninitiated. The University of Chicago may have split the atom in 1942, but it s still working on the equally significant issue of the latke versus the hamantash. Seller Inventory # AAH9780226100234

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