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The Story Of The Jews: Finding The Words, 1000 BCE – 1492 CE (2013)

by Simon Schama(Favorite Author)
3.98 of 5 Votes: 2
1847921329 (ISBN13: 9781847921321)
Bodley Head
review 1: I thought, "I can't wait to see how it ends!" I should have waited. Volume 1 ends with the Inquisition burning, and the Crown expelling, Jews by the thousands. Schama writes with great brio and a distinctively conversational wit (though I just can't make myself as interested in architectural and holographic details as he is), but there is no way to disguise the the terrible sadness of angry Christianity in action. One wants to cry out, again and again, 'Have they never read that book of theirs?"
review 2: I think Schama could make the history of dirt exciting, and gory. So when I saw he was taking on the history of the Jews I was excited. I'd somehow missed--or possibly just never thought about--his being Jewish when I read his previous books. If you are
... more a very religious traditional Jew who believes the Biblical narrative completely, you may have some disappointments in the early chapters. I enjoyed the early chapters for the stuff I *didn't* know--like there was a colony of Jews in southern Egypt long ago who were--soldiers for hire??!!--and left records of their lives and family. And then the book gets better and better as it goes, tracing Judaism through Persian and Greek and Roman domination, on into the Christian and Muslim worlds. I knew some of what I was going to read or be subjected to here---but I still wasn't prepared for the experience of reading Schama's impassioned but thoroughly detailed telling of Jewish suffering. (I should have known the bloody details were coming, having previously read Citizens.) And I knew what happened, the basic outlines anyway. It sure seems different when you are talking about real people with real names and details. I am eager for Vol. 2 of this. The only part where I got lost in this book was on a chapter about Jewish poets writing Arabic poetry? Somehow I got lost here. The rest was gripping and enlightening and, for a Christian like me, convicting. Very worthwhile read. less
Reviews (see all)
Very tedious and difficult to read, especially if you don't know much about ancient history.
Well-written; well-researched. I learned stuff I never knew before.
Well researched. I love a book with a big fat bibliography.
Recommended by Bill Baxter
This is no small feat.
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