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The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words (1000 BCE - 1492)

Simon Schama

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It is a story like no other: an epic of endurance against destruction, of creativity in oppression, joy amidst grief, the affirmation of life against the steepest of odds.

It spans the millennia and the continents from India to Andalusia and from the bazaars of Cairo to the streets of Oxford. It takes you to unimagined places: to a Jewish kingdom in the mountains of southern Arabia; a Syrian synagogue glowing with radiant wall paintings; the palm groves of the Jewish dead in the Roman catacombs. And its voices ring loud and clear, from the severities and ecstasies of the Bible writers to the love poems of wine bibbers in a garden in Muslim Spain.

Within these pages, the Talmud burns in the streets of Paris, massed gibbets hang over the streets of medieval London, a Majorcan illuminator redraws the world; candles are lit, chants are sung, mules are packed, ships loaded with spice and gems founder at sea.

And a great story unfolds. Not as often imagined of a culture apart, but of a Jewish world immersed in and imprinted by the peoples among whom they have dwelled, from the Egyptians to the Greeks, from the Arabs to the Christians.

Which makes the story of the Jews everyones story, too.

Additional Information

Author:   Simon Schama

ISBN:   009954668X

ISBN 13:   9780099546689

Publisher:   Vintage Digital

About the Author

About the author

Author:  Simon Schama

Author Description:  Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University in New York. His publications include Patriots and Liberators, which won the 1989 Yorkshire Post Award for Non-Fiction, Dead Certainties, Landscape Eyes and the History of Britain series. Simon Schama was art critic for the New Yorker from 1995 to 1998, and was awarded a C.B.E. in the 2001 New Year's Honours List.