I'm the author of X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War Two as well as four previous books. My last book, Young Lions: How Jewish Authors Reinvented the American War Novel, won the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award for Modern Jewish History and was shortlisted for the National Jewish Book Award.
I'm the Director and Professor of Jewish Studies at Hunter College, CUNY. I have lived and worked all over the world: West Africa (when I was a child and my parents were in the Peace Corps), Israel (where I had a Fulbright), the United Kingdom (as a student at Oxford), and Australia (where I was a Professor at Monash University). I returned to my birthplace of New York City in 2018 and I live here with my husband, the thriller writer Adrian McKinty, our two daughters and two cats.
I became interested in Jewish soldiers in World War Two because so many of my own relatives had served. While writing the book, I had to go deep into the archives, get documents unclassified and most exciting of all I got to interview and meet still living commandos and their families. When I started work on this project I assumed that it would potentially be another depressing story of Jews and the Holocaust but was stunned to discover that this is an incredibly optimistic story of Jews fighting back against the Nazis.