Reviews

Kosher Nation Reviews

“Informative and richly researched. . . . Sensitive to the ways in which kashrut is at once a hoary ritual practice and a modern-day business, a spiritual pursuit and an earth-bound enterprise, Fishkoff has us see the many internal contradictions that keep the system spinning . . . documenting them instead of erasing them, and as a result they emerge with full force, to endow her narrative with bite and backbone. . . . A lively portrait of what it means to keep kosher in the twenty-first century . . . a fascinating tale of how the instruments of modernity often enlarge rather than diminish the parameters of religious experience.”
Jenna Weissman Joselit, The New Republic

“Fishkoff delves into the ins and outs of why the kosher industry continues to grow at an astounding rate despite the small number of observant Jews who actually require kosher-certified food. . . . [A]n impressive arsenal of firsthand stories and inside information keeps the narrative moving. . . . Kosher Nation will engage readers with both the religious and professional facets of this complex and misunderstood standard as she explains why so many people prefer kosher cuisine despite its higher costs.”
Publishers Weekly

The breadth of Fishkoff’s research is remarkable: no crumb, no bug, is too minute for discussion. At the same time, she broaches larger questions about religious identity and acculturation, about marketing, commercialization, and globalization. As Kosher Nation ably demonstrates, what and how we eat remains a highly effective means of telling the story of who we are.
Tova Mirvis, Commentary

“A revealing behind-the-scenes exploration of the kosher food industry and the people who work in it. Comprehensive, absorbing, and sometimes disturbing, Kosher Nation explains what ‘kosher supervision’ means and how it affects every American who purchases food.”
Jonathan D. Sarna, Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University, and author of American Judaism: A History

“Like the eyes of the dedicated mashgichim Fishkoff profiles, Kosher Nation leaves no corner of this once-mysterious world in the dark. Comforting as kugel yet daring as kosher bacon bits, this book should be glued to the back of the Talmud as mandatory reading.” David Sax, author of Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen

Ha’aretz | Q & A: A Conversation with Sue Fishkoff

The Jewish Week | Inside the Kosher Industry

The Jewish Daily Forward | How America Came to Think “K” is OK

Wilson Quarterly |  Food Police

The Jew and the Carrot | Q & A: Sue Fishkoff Talks About “Kosher Nation” and Jewish Food

Kosher Eye | In the Spotlight: Kosher Nation

The Shiksa | Book Review: Kosher Nation

Twin Cities Jewfolk | Noshin’ Review: Kosher Nation


The Rebbe’s Army Reviews

“Rich in telling anecdotes and thumbnail portraits, Fishkoff’s narrative is infused with the sense of joy radiated by her subjects…. For both the serious and casual observer of Jewish life, this is valuable reading.” –Sandee Brawarsky, The Jewish Week

The Rebbe’s Army shows a tenacious reporter and an intellectually curious person on the case. Fishkoff has brought the scattered shlichim indelibly together on the page.” –Samuel G. Freedman, New York Times Book Review

“With a critical but appreciative eye, Sue Fishkoff explains why so many secular people have such a warm spot in their hearts for the Chabad movement, and especially for its army of “shaliachs.”  A wonderful book about a fascinating group of people.  We can learn much both from the book and from the emissaries about whom she writes.” –Alan Dershowitz

“Chasidism teaches its followers human warmth, which is superbly reflected in Sue Fishkoff’s book.” –Elie Wiesel

The Rebbe’s Army is a fascinating account of the Chabad movement and its emissaries. I read it with interest and recommend it highly.” –Jon Voight

The Rebbe’s Army is an accurate, detailed portrait of the outreach efforts of Chabad, which has become a major movement in American Judaism. Fishkoff intimately chronicles the life and work of the husband-and-wife emissaries of the late Rebbe: specifically, their efforts to revive Jewish commitment throughout the world. She reveals their inner struggles–even crises–and brings to life the unbelievable sacrifices they make. While painting a sympathetic picture, she manages to capture accurately the tensions within the movement, the variety of reactions to it within the wider Jewish community, and the difficulties engendered by the Rebbe’s passing, which Chabad is still working to overcome.” — Lawrence H. Schiffman, Chair, Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University

“Fishkoff’s account of the lives of the thousands of emissaries of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe is reportage of the highest order. We are given the facts about this Jewish monastic-missionary movement but, more important, we are taken into the inner lives and commitments of its emissaries. Fishkoff makes us see and understand these passionate, caring, and loving people.” –Arthur Hertzberg, author of A Jew in America: My Life and a People’s Struggle for Identity