Rebecca Goldstein: Betraying Spinoza

(Nonfiction, 287 pp. 2006)

Baruch Spinoza, son of Portuguese immigrants to Holland, was excommunicated by the Amsterdam Jewish Community in 1656. Investigating Spinoza’s background, education, and his own writings, Goldstein reveals how this yeshiva student became an influential philosopher and possibly the Western world’s first secular Jew.

  • Discussion questions
  • Review by Michael Dirda, Washington Post, May 21, 2006
  • Review by Harold Bloom, New York Times, June 18, 2006
  • Review by Daniel B. Schwartz, Forward, June 30, 2006
  • Review by Laura Miller, Salon, June 17, 2006
  • Review by Fred Baumann, New York Sun, May 31, 2006
  • Essay by Allan Nadler, "Romancing Spinoza,” Commentary, December 2006
  • Paul Comstock interviews Rebecca Goldstein, California Literary Review, March 30, 2007
  • Stephen Vider interviews Rebecca Goldstein, Tablet, May 15, 2006
  • Op-ed by Rebecca Goldstein, New York Times, July 29, 2006
  • Audio interview (6 min)