Wednesday, October 1, 2014 Tishri 7, 5775

Robert Leiter

Former Senior Editor
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At the turn of the last century, travel to what was then called the Holy Land began to become a distinct growth industry (as promotional types like to put it these days). This was the period, of course, when Mark Twain was one of many Innocents Abroad , and his descriptions of the terrain and the people he saw there...
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When an accident turns a couple's world upside-down
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The confessional mode and its possible pitfalls, which I discussed several weeks ago in the case of Anne Roiphe's memoir, Epilogue , get another workout in Alix Kates Shulman's new book. Also a tale of harrowing loss, it's titled To Love What Is , and is published by Farrar Straus and Giroux. Where Roiphe's book discussed the sadness and bewilderment...
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I can't seem to get my fill of books about books, whether they're confessions penned by passionate book collectors, memoirs by the owners of famous bookshops or histories of storied publishing enterprises. My only complaint is that these types of books, which once filled publishers' catalogues, have dwindled in number as the Internet age has come to dominate our lives...
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Life after death -- the death of a spouse, that is
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Confessional writing has been a fixture of the literary scene for so long now that we may forget how fraught with dangers the form can be, at least in its modern incarnation. A writer, even when striving to be unstintingly honest, can tip easily into bathos, or be so committed to "telling all" that he or she can begin revealing...
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Frank Gehry's architectural drawings are a world unto themselves
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I remember clearly what it felt like back in 2001 to walk into the Guggenheim Museum to see the massive Frank Gehry exhibition housed there. It was the most extensive retrospective of his work till then, and it was being held in the most perfect venue, as many critics had pointed out, since Gehry (born Ephraim Owen Goldberg in 1929)...
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Profile

Robert Leiter served as senior editor of the Jewish Exponent before retiring in Dec. 2013. 

In his 30 years with the paper, he won many awards and held many positions, from full-time reporter to interim editor. For five years in the early 1980s, he was managing editor of Inside magazine, the Exponent's sister publication, and for seven years in the 2000s, he was the quarterly's editor in chief, while still working full time for the paper.

Since the mid-1980s, he reported from most of the major capitals of Europe for the Exponent, with an emphasis on the Eastern Bloc countries, during and after Communist rule. Throughout this period, he visited Poland, the two Germanies and the Soviet Union with greatest frequency, but also made visits to Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, the former Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. He has also reported from Catalonia, Alsace, Zurich and Venice, as well as from Costa Rica, Norway, India and the Middle East. A number of his journalism awards have been for his reporting from Europe.

He is a contributing editor to The American Poetry Review, which is based in Philadelphia, and in the 1980s, he served as Murray Friedman's assistant to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in Washington, D.C.

He has also been a freelance writer for 40 years and his book reviews, short stories, essays, interviews and profiles have appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, CommonwealDissent, The American Scholar, The Hudson Review, The New Leader, The Forward, Moment, Redbook, The Pennsylvania GazetteThe Philadelphia BulletinThe Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia magazine, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, Partisan Review and many other mainstream local and national publications.

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