The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words (1000 BCE - 1492)
" A riveting picture, generously rendered, of the stubborn, argumentative miracle of Jewish survival against the odds... Schama has made an eloquent and a far-reaching case for why Jews needed a small piece of earth they could call home." -- The New York Times Book Review
In the second of three volumes of this magnificently illustrated cultural history, the tie-in to the PBS and BBC series The Story of the Jews, Simon Schama details the story of the Jewish people from 1492 through the end of nineteenth century
Simon Schama's great project continues and the Jewish story is woven into the fabric of humanity. Their search for a home where a distinctive religion and culture could be nourished without being marginalized suddenly takes on startling resonance in our own epoch of homelessness, wanderings, persecutions, and anxious arrivals.
Volume 2 of The Story of the Jews epic tells the stories of many who seldom figure in Jewish histories: not just the rabbis and the philosophers but a poetess in the ghetto of Venice; a general in Ming China; a boxer in Georgian England, a Bible showman in Amsterdam; a teacher of the deaf in eighteenth-century France, an opera composer in nineteenth-century Germany. The story unfolds in Kerala and Mantua, the starlit hills of Galilee, the rivers of Colombia, the kitchens of Istanbul, the taverns of Ukraine and the mining camps of California. It sails in caravels, rides the stagecoaches and the railways, trudges the dawn streets of London with a pack load of old clothes, hobbles along with the remnant of Napoleon's ruined army.
Through Schama's passionate and intelligent telling, a story emerges of the Jewish people that feels as if it is the story of everyone, of humanity packed with detail, this second chronicle in an epic tale will shed new light on a crucial period of history.
'Unforgettable...a delicious cacophony of conversations and clamorous arguments echoing across history' Daily Telegraph The landmark history of a people, culture and a world.
Samuel Johnson Prize 2013.
"Schama at his best, a labour of love, as full of memorable incident as a Bellow novel and wittier than a Woody Allen movie" The Times "Schama has written a proud and personal story of his people, one that will make a good starting point for those interested in one of history's most fascinating and tragic tales" -- Josh Glancy Sunday Times "Inspiring... Schama tells it with panache, weaving facts and anecdotes into a vivid history" Observer "Unforgettable...a delicious cacophony of conversations and clamorous arguments echoing across history" Daily Telegraph "A spirited, immensely enjoyable and wide-ranging account... [expresses] both the triumphs and the tragedies with irrepressible enthusiasm and his customary eloquence" Financial Times
Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University. His award-winning books, translated into fifteen languages, include Rembrandt's Eyes, A History of Britain, The Power of Art, Rough Crossings and The American Future. His journalism has appeared regularly in the Guardian, New Yorker and the Financial Times where he is Contributing Editor. He has written and presented forty films for BBC2 on subjects as diverse as Tolstoy, American politics and John Donne and won an Emmy for The Power of Art.