David, Anthony 1962-
DAVID, Anthony 1962-
(Anthony David Skinner)
PERSONAL: Born 1962.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Harvard University Press, 79 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138.
CAREER: Author, historian, and researcher.
AWARDS, HONORS: Research fellowship, Hebrew University.
(Under name Anthony David Skinner; editor and translator) Gershom Scholem: A Life in Letters, 1914-1982, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.
The Patron: A Life of Salman Schocken, 1877-1959, Metropolitan Books (New York, NY), 2003.
SIDELIGHTS: Anthony David is the author of a biography of Salman Schocken, a German-Jewish publisher known best for his discovery and promotion of the work of Nobel Prize-winning author S. Y. Agnon. Schocken rose above his humble roots to make his fortune through a chain of department stores, using aggressive, American-style marketing techniques and providing quality goods at reasonable prices. His chief love was books, an interest that prompted him to start a publishing house and that flourished through his flight to Palestine in 1938 and his eventual move to New York City in 1946. Schocken Books published such authors as Agnon, Gershom Scholem, Martin Buber, and Max Brod, and held the rights to publish Franz Kafka's works in English.
David's book traces Schocken's life from his earliest accomplishments to his fresh start in America, using research that includes some of Schocken's own letters. A contributor for Kirkus Reviews called the work "a well-rendered life of the philanthropist, activist, autodidact, and publisher." Hillel Halkin, writing for the New Republic, found the book "an engaging and well-paced biography," but noted that "its main fault is [David's] often uncritical acceptance of Schocken's own appraisal of himself and his surroundings. Sometimes a biographer can feel too close to his subject. This is especially true when David writes about Schocken's relationship to Hebrew literature and Jewish culture." Forward reviewer Mindy Aloff remarked that "David makes it clear that, as a person, Schocken was not only self-made but also self-contradicting and, at times, self-destructively stubborn and rigid." She added that "David displays authority in research, honest grace in literary tone, analytic brilliance and an insider's feeling for all contentious parties."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Forward, December 12, 2003, Mindy Aloff, "Man of the Book: Reading a Life of Salman Schoken."
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2003, review of The Patron: A Life of Salman Schocken, 1877-1959, p. 1207.
Library Journal, November 15, 2003, Paul Kaplan, review of The Patron, p. 75.
New Republic, December 29, 2003, Hillel Halkin, "Money and Soul," review of The Patron, p. 34.
Publishers Weekly, January 28, 2002, review of Gershom Scholem: A Life in Letters, 1914-1982, p. 280; December 15, 2003, review of The Patron, p. 66.*