Biography of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks to be Published Next Year

Published 27 April 2022
Leslie Wagner with bookshelf charles green shelfie

Hodder Faith has signed the first biography of the late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks by Professor Leslie Wagner, a friend and adviser to Rabbi Sacks for over 40 years.

World rights to the “authoritative” and “wide ranging” biography, written with the co-operation of Rabbi Sacks’ estate and the Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust, were acquired from Louise Greenberg Books for publication planned in winter 2023 to mark the third anniversary of Sacks’ death. 

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was an international religious leader, philosopher and author who, from his appointment as Chief Rabbi of the UK and Commonwealth in 1991, through to his death in November 2020, made what the publisher calls an “incalculable contribution not just to the religious life of the Jewish community but to the national conversation – and increasingly to the global community – on issues of faith, ethics and morality.” His books include The Power of Ideas, Morality (Hodder) and Celebrating Life (Bloomsbury). 

“To tell this fascinating story is both a challenge and a privilege.”

Professor Leslie Wagner, who was himself present at many of the most significant events during Jonathan Sacks’ time as Chief Rabbi, said: “Jonathan Sacks was a once in a lifetime leader whose intellectual and communication skills enabled him to speak across denominations and generations and through his words change people’s lives. But the transition from shy academic philosopher to Rabbi to Chief Rabbi and eventually to one of the the world’s foremost public intellectuals were not always smooth. To tell this fascinating story is both a challenge and a privilege.”

Ian Metcalfe, chairman of Hodder Faith, said: “I had the honour to work with Jonathan Sacks on a number of books over a period of nearly 20 years, and I am delighted now to be announcing this biography which we know will do justice to his life and his legacy.”