Joel Carmichael

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Joel Carmichael
Born Joel Lipsky
(1915-12-31)December 31, 1915
New York City
Died January 27, 2006(2006-01-27) (aged 90)
Occupation historian, magazine editor, translator
Nationality American
Notable works The Death of Jesus
Spouse Mary Carr Thomas
Elizabeth de Cuevas
Children 3
Relatives Eleazar Lipsky (brother), David Lipsky (brother)

Joel Carmichael (December 31, 1915 – January 27, 2006) was an American historian, magazine editor, and translator.


Early life and education[edit]

Born Joel Lipsky on December 31, 1915 in New York City, Carmichael was the youngest son of Charlotte Schacht and Louis Lipsky, a founder of the American Zionist movement. His oldest brother, David (1907–1996) became a publicist; his middle brother, Eleazar (1911–1993), was a lawyer, novelist, journalist, playwright and active Zionist.[1]

Following graduation from high school, he was sent for a year to Palestine. There he began learning Arabic before returning to New York and attending Columbia University. In England, a chance meeting with an Oxford don turned him to read Greek and Russian at Oxford.[2]


His first book, a translation of a memoir of the Russian Revolution, helped Carmichael land a contract with Oxford University Press.[2] From there, he wrote numerous titles on early Christianity, Arab history and Russian history, and translated Anna Karenina for a new paperback edition. One book, The Death of Jesus, was translated into eight languages. Carmichael was also editor of Midstream, a Zionist magazine, for 24 years, serving from 1975–1988 and 1990-2001.

Marriage and family[edit]

Carmichael was married twice: first to the journalist Mary Carr Thomas, then to sculptor Elizabeth de Cuevas in 1960.[3] He had three children.

His granddaughter is the filmmaker Emily Carmichael.


Carmichael died January 27, 2006 in Manhattan.

Published works[edit]

  • An Illustrated History of Russia (Reynal, 1960)[4]
  • The Eichmann Case; reactions in West Germany (Marstin Press, 1961)
  • Chaim Weizmann: a Biography By Several Hands with Meyer Wolfe Weisgal and David Ben-Gurion (1962)
  • The Death of Jesus (Macmillan, 1963)[5]
  • A Short History of the Russian Revolution (Nelson, 1964)
  • The Shaping of the Arabs: A Study in Ethnic Identity (Macmillan, 1967)
  • Karl Marx: the Passionate Logician (Scribner, 1967)
  • Open Letter to Moses and Mohammed (J.H. Heineman, 1968)
  • A Cultural History of Russia (Weybright and Talley, 1968)
  • Trotsky: an Appreciation of His Life (St. Martin's Press, 1975)
  • Stalin's Masterpiece (St. Martin's Press, 1976)
  • Arabs Today (Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1977)
  • The Birth of Christianity: Reality and Myth (Hippocrene Books, 1989)
  • A History of Russia (Hippocrene Books, 1990)
  • The Satanizing of the Jews: Origin and Development of Mystical Anti-Semitism (Fromm International Pub. Corp., 1992)
  • The Unriddling of Christian Origins: a Secular Account (Prometheus Books, 1995)


  • Carl Brockelmann, History of the Islamic Peoples (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1939)
  • N. N. Sukhanov, The Russian Revolution: A Personal Record (Oxford, 1955)[6]
  • Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (Bantam, 1960)
  • Dan Theodore, The Origins of Bolshevism (Secker & Warburg, 1964)
  • Gisela Elsner, The Giant Dwarfs (Grove Press, 1965)[7]
  • Paul Marc Henry, Africa Aeterna: The Pictorial Chronicle of a Continent (Sedo S.A., 1965)
  • Jean Lacouture, Vietnam: Between Two Truces, trans. w. Kellen Konrad (Vintage Books/Random House, 1966)
  • Willy Brandt, A Peace Policy for Europe (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Guide to the Lipsky Family Papers, 1904-1992 (bulk 1925-1992)". Center for Jewish History. 
  2. ^ a b Duncan, Erika (1995-03-19). "ENCOUNTERS; Separating History From Conditions of Religion". New York Times. 
  3. ^ "Joel Carmichael Weds Mrs. Elizabeth Faure". New York Times. 1960-04-30. p. 20. 
  4. ^ Salisbury, Harrison E. (1960-10-02). "Background for Today; AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF RUSSIA.". New York Times. 
  5. ^ Seidenspinner, Clarence (1963-02-17). "Jesus Interpreted as a Revolutionist". Chicago Tribune. 
  6. ^ Wolfe, Bertram D. (1955-05-15). "A BUSYBODY'S NOTES ON REVOLUTION; One Man's Account of the Scenes, Moods And Deeds in Russia's Year of Decision". New York Times. 
  7. ^ Baumbach, Jonathan (1965-06-13). "Weird Like Reality; THE GIANT DWARFS: A Contribution.". New York Times. 

External links[edit]