This fact-filled volume explores the history of the Jewish people in a unique and readable way, taking us from Biblical times to the present. Each of the phases deals with 500 years of history and depicts not only the political, economic and social forces that kept the Jewish people alive and vibrant, but also the leading figures who significantly affected the course of Jewish history.
The authors take us from the period of the Patriarchs through Moses, David, and the birth of the Jewish People, then on to the period of the prophets and kings, Ezra and the Great Assembly, the Talmudic period, the Geonim, Rishonim, the Inquisition, Achronim, the two World Wars, and the State of Israel.
Includes a detailed index.
From the Foreword by Sir Martin Gilbert:
Philip Ginsbury and Raphael Cutler have done a great service. All Jews, and many non-Jews, will be grateful to them for their unusual, thought-provoking perspective on Jewish history. Many writers and historians, including the author of this Foreword, have laboured in the extraordinarily fertile vineyard of Jewish history, seeking to write within a single volume a concise history of the Jewish people and their faith. Others, like Heinrich Graetz, Simon Dubnow and Salo Baron, have produced multi-volume works of millions of words....
It is on the personalities, many of them great rabbis and sages, that the authors throw particular light, convinced, as all readers will be after reading this book, that "individuals can shape history no less than movements and economic and social factors". There is much to be learned about those individuals in these pages: of perseverance, of courage, and of faith. This is not only history with a human face, but with a deep understanding of the religious imperatives that sustained a people in exile and enabled them to survive enemies and pressures that brought many other ancient peoples to the dust. It is the story of the triumph of the spirit, as sustained by men of integrity and vision.