After skyrocketing to the top of both the Amazon and Barnes & Noble best-seller lists and completely selling out its first printing almost before it went on sale on June 10, Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History (HarperCollins) debuted on The New York Times bestseller list for the week of June 29.
The “captivating portrait” of the Rebbe is described by its publisher as “the definitive guide to understanding one of the most vital, intriguing figures of the last centuries.”
“While we always knew we had a real winner on our hands with Rebbe, the public’s interest in this remarkable leader is even greater than we realized," said Katherine Beitner, director of publicity for HarperCollins Publishers. "We are thrilled that the book has hit The New York Times Bestseller List. Clearly the Rebbe’s message and example are as vibrant and vital as ever, and people of all walks of life are hungry to learn about them and apply them to their lives.”
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Critics, too, have given the 640-page book by Joseph Telushkin high marks.
Calling it “mesmerizing” and “accessible” for even “the non-Jewish or nonreligious reader,” The Wall Street Journal wrote a 2,000-word glowing review of ‘Rebbe,’ explaining that “it will appeal to those curious about the Rebbe’s influence on public life … [and also reveals] the Rebbe’s thoughts on subjects ranging from evolution to baseball.”
In her detailed analysis of both Telushkin’s ‘Rebbe’ and noted Talmudic scholar Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz)’s new book “My Rebbe” for the Journal, novelist Dara Horn finishes by declaring: “For all his immense achievements, the Rebbe’s power ultimately came from a simple message that anyone can appreciate. As Mr. Telushkin puts it: ‘Love your fellow, and not just those who agree with you.”
On New York 1’s popular Book Reader program, esteemed Wall Street Journal editor Bari Weiss urged listeners to “do yourself a favor and pick up this biography. You don’t need to be a Jew or even be a religious person to learn from this monumental man!”
And The Huffington Post gushed that “through his clear and unambiguous prose cultivated from many sources, Telushkin recounts how the Rebbe fundamentally transformed notions of human potential, as he believed individuals were capable of much more than we imagine for ourselves. Rebbe will be a staple of rabbinic biography for years come.”
Concurring, the New York Journal of Books asserts that ‘Rebbe’ “brings the great man alive and gives the reader powerful motivation to examine his or her own life and ask what obstacles need to be faced.”
As if adding to that, The Jewish Herald Voice declares, “Spend some time getting to know the Rebbe [with this book]. You’ll be glad you did.”
Rebbe is available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and bookstores throughout the United States.