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Lev Raphael
Lev Raphael is the author of twenty-five books in nearly a dozen different genres. Raphael is best known as a pioneer in writing fiction and creative non-fiction about the children of Holocaust survivors, which he's been publishing since 1978, before almost any other American author. His books have been translated into fifteen languages and he's done hundreds of invited talks and readings on three continents. His work has appeared in dozens of anthologies in the U.S. and England. He's a guest assistant professor of English at Michigan State University whose Special Archives purchased his current and future literary papers.

Raphael's academic mystery series has earned raves from the NYTBR and many other newspapers and magazines and he has been the keynoter at international conferences. Raphael has written hundreds of reviews and essays for The Detroit Free Press, Jerusalem Report, Forward, The Washington Post, The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Boston Review and Lambda Book Report. A former radio talk show host, he currently reviews for WKAR 90.5 FM in East Lansing, MI. Raphael's web site is Follow him on Twitter @LevRaphael.

Entries by Lev Raphael

Huckabee's Hitler Hysteria: A New Low

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 2:16 PM

Why is Mike Huckabee obsessed with Hitler and the Nazis?

Talking about the the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran he recently said in an interview that:

This president's foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By...
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Mark Twain Did Not Write Valentines

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 10:20 AM

Mark Twain is deservedly remembered for his barbed wit, for lines like these from his Notebooks:

"Familiarity breeds contempt -- and children."

"There has been only one Christian. They caught him and crucified him -- early."

But every now and then he's...

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Another Week, Another Mass Shooting

(5) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 9:14 PM

I keep getting comparisons in my Facebook feed between the U.S. and Australia when it comes to gun control and calls for us to follow their example. Noble idea. Flawed logic.

We can't and we won't, despite the fact that there are claims Australia "in some ways shares...

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The Great Wall of Trump

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 5:26 PM

Donald Trump has been down at the Mexican border talking about the need for a wall between The U.S. and Mexico.

What a brilliant idea. Look what the Great Wall has done for China! It's beautiful, unique, and you can even see...
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Mass Murder and Forgiveness?

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 7:04 AM

Roxane Gay recently wrote a blistering column for the New York Times about alleged mass murderer Dylann Roof in which she declared unequivocally that she couldn't forgive him though other people have: "My lack of forgiveness serves as a reminder that there are some acts that...

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A Taste of Bruges

(3) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 9:09 AM

I'm not a rushed traveler. I don't need to check things off a list to say that I've "done" them or "done" a city.

I'm more what the French call a flâneur, someone who likes to wander, stroll, and enjoy himself at leisure. I like museums in moderation, scenic views,...

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Guess What Else Hemingway Didn't Say?

(0) Comments | Posted July 19, 2015 | 6:56 AM

It must be wonderful to be dead and keep writing.

Like Hemingway. He died in 1961 but he keeps writing all kinds of snappy lines. I just saw a new posthumous quote this week: "The first draft of anything is shit." It's all over the Internet.

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My Funny Faux Pas in France

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 5:33 PM

Years ago when I was researching a book on Edith Wharton's psychology and fiction, I visited her former home north of Paris in Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt. It was less than an hour north of the city and I'd written to the owner's secretary long in advance to get permission to explore it...

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Jeopardy Bush Does It Again

(22) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 9:41 AM

Years ago they used to say Jeb Bush was "the smart one" in the family. He may be smart (though compared to whom?), but he doesn't seem very politic. One of his answers to our country's economic problems is this: "People need to work longer hours and, through...

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Why Would Anyone Diss Gay Rights Allies?

(0) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 11:18 AM


A young gay writer just published an opinion piece in The Washington Post telling people to stop displaying the rainbow flag colors on their profile photos.


Because: "Gay pride is not something you can claim by waving a flag."


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Politeness I'd Truly Like to See

(1) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 10:32 AM

Buzzfeed's "Whatever Happened To These 6 Polite Gestures?" was all over Facebook recently. It prompted all kinds of nostalgia for things like thank you notes--as if climate change would end when people bought stationary and picked up pens again.

I send email thank you notes, and if I'm...

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Was E.L. James Really Bullied on Twitter?

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 9:28 PM

Monday on Facebook, Anne Rice majestically defended E.L. James after James's Twitter Q&A event spun out of control.

Instead of being a lovefest or a cyber tea party, #AskELJames turned into a free-for-all where critics of all kinds--wits and dimwits--told James what they thought of her books...

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Clarence Thomas's Judicial Cruelty

(0) Comments | Posted June 28, 2015 | 9:09 AM

I'm late at reading all the dissents to the 5-4 decision making marriage legal across the country for gays and lesbian, but Clarence Thomas said something so extraordinarily illogical and ahistorical, it has to be noted:

Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because...
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Mike Huckabee's Blasphemy?

(48) Comments | Posted June 27, 2015 | 11:03 AM

In response to the 5-4 Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage yesterday, Mike Huckabee tweeted a number of things, including this:

My thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling that determined that same sex marriage is okay: "Jesus wept."

If you're not familiar with this shortest English line of the New...

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Justice Roberts Needs a History Tutor

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 2:20 PM

In his dissent today against the 5-4 decision making marriage legal for gay men and lesbians everywhere across the United States, Justice Roberts issued this appeal to historical precedent:

The majority's decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution...
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Scalia's Marriage Collapses

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 1:24 PM

In a statement released by his attorney, Justice Antonin Scalia, a scathing opponent of today's 5-4 decision in favor of marriage equality, has announced that he and his wife are appealing to the Vatican for an annulment. Grounds for the annulment were not stated.

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Jindal Joins GOP Jamboree

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 3:05 AM

A few days ago I heard some GOP ventriloquist's dummy on CNN confidently declare that Bobby Jindal would bring substantive policy proposals "to the table" and that he'd even "been accused of being a policy wonk." Accused? What a great shout-out.

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Writers: Don't Get Trapped By Social Media

(1) Comments | Posted June 24, 2015 | 7:46 AM

For the last few years, at every writers' conference I've attended, the hottest topic has been social media. Writers crowd these sessions like medieval pilgrims seeking miracles at a shrine. They seem convinced that with just the right piece of information, they can use social media to promote themselves into...

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Going to London? Don't Miss The Wallace Collection!

(0) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 5:45 PM

London has world-class museums, but one of them isn't as well-known as it should be: The Wallace Collection. There's no entrance fee, you can see all of it in a morning or afternoon, and it won't leave you feeling overwhelmed like The British Museum or the National Gallery might. Housed...

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Jeb Bush Has Hit a New Low

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2015 | 2:13 PM

In case you missed it, the race-hatred massacre in Charleston has left Jeb Bush clueless. He's not sure if race is actually a factor in this horrific episode of domestic terrorism.

Every major news outlet in the country -- well, maybe not Fox? -- reported that a survivor...

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