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Tablet magazine


  • Originally published 05/23/2013

    Allan Metcalf: On the Origin of ‘Shyster’

    Allan Metcalf is a professor at MacMurray College in Illinois, executive secretary of the American Dialect Society, and author of OK: The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word.Out in the wilds of western Missouri, in Rolla, which is not far from the tornado-devastated town of Joplin, lives a scholar who has made etymology his life’s work. He is Gerald Leonard Cohen, professor in the department of arts, languages, and philosophy at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, and grand impresario of American etymologists—as well as the world’s leading corraler of language historians, who often join him in tackling some of the most challenging puzzles of word origins.

  • Originally published 04/19/2013

    Adam Chandler: Remembering the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

    Adam Chandler is the editor of The Scroll. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Salon, Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.After a week of warm April weather, sunny afternoons and calm evenings, Friday morning in Warsaw was grey. An easily imaginable and heavy Polish grey: cold, windy, and threatening rain.Like all anniversaries, the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising represented the interaction between history and the public marking of time. There were ceremonial sirens, church bells, military drums, and symbolic rifle fire, all of which echoed through the open plaza between Nathan Rapoport’s iconic monument to the ghetto fighters and the newly-minted Museum of the History of Polish Jews. The silences were tense and even the weather had conspired to project solemness.

  • Originally published 02/04/2013

    Hitler’s Toilet Is in New Jersey

    Florence, N.J., isn’t too different from other small towns in the Garden State, one marked, if anything, by a slew of very ordinary sights—chain flower shops at every major intersection, decidedly lower gas prices, and a few cozy diners. But it is also home to something else, acquired by Greg Kohfeldt when he bought Sam Carlani’s auto-repair shop here almost 20 years ago: Adolf Hitler’s toilet.