Where did the Jews come from? How did they retain their strong sense of community through centuries of dispersion? How have the Jews of the present, with their proud ethnic identity and thriving national home, emerged out of the downtrodden Jews of the past? Such questions arise naturally in the minds of anyone contemplating the long history of Jewish people. In one concise, authoritative volume, A Short History of the Jewish People provides insights and answers.
This sweeping and highly informative work presents the major geographical, cultural, and political forces that have determined the course of Jewish history, introducing the many individuals, both religious and secular, who have shaped the character, mindset, and prospects of the Jewish people. Organized chronologically, the narrative follows the Jewish experience from legendary times to the peace agreements currently being negotiated in the Middle East. And, to give this overview an international and timely perspective, Raymond P. Scheindlin focuses his study on the pivotal events and dominant communities within each historical period.
Written by a respected Hebrew scholar, cultural historian, noted author, and rabbi, A Short History of the Jewish People carefully describes the story of a people as varied as the many cultures in which they have lived. Including detailed maps and stirring photos, as well as timelines and sidebars, this pioneering work is a valuable resource for anyone broadly curious about the Jewish people.
Beginning in 1200 B.C., Scheindlin tracks the Jews through all the major historical events. The Canaanites are the first people we encounter. We see the rise of Islam, the Inquisition, the turmoil in Western and Eastern Europe as well as the events of modern Israel. In each chapter, the author inserts additional information on specific topics, such as Yiddish, a poem, or the development of Hebrew as a language. Using both maps and timelines, it is easy to follow what is happening in general history as well as Jewish history. Although this is a brief book, it can be dry and even a bit boring at times. If used with other resources it would be helpful. Some pictures are included. KLIATT Codes: SARecommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1998, Oxford University Press, 274p, illus, bibliog, index, 21cm, 00-39206, $13.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: White Plains, NY; Robin S. Holab-Abelman January 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 1)