On May 17th, America lost one of the 20th Century’s most significant, popular but under-rated writers, when Herman Wouk died just ten days before his 104th birthday. Author of “The Caine Mutiny,” “Marjorie Morningstar,” “Winds of War” and “War and Remembrance,” nobody could deny this Pulitzer Prize-winner’s gifts as a story teller.
But as a World War II Naval officer, his America-loving, pro-military and richly religious themes led the critical establishment to frequently denigrate his work. His perennial best-seller “This Is My God” remains the best single-volume introduction to Jewish faith and Wouk, a Talmud scholar of profound insight, showed that vigorous observance and artistic achievement—in literature, on Broadway, and even in Hollywood—can flourish together.
Wouk will be deeply missed and richly deserves the traditional Jewish tribute—“Zecher Tzadik Livracha”–may the memory of the righteous be blessed.