The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels (Google eBook)

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Apr 28, 2010 - History - 304 pages
57 Reviews
The author of the runaway bestseller How the Irish Saved Civilization has done it again. In The Gifts of the Jews Thomas Cahill takes us on another enchanting journey into history, once again recreating a time when the actions of a small band of people had repercussions that are still felt today.

The Gifts of the Jews reveals the critical change that made western civilization possible. Within the matrix of ancient religions and philosophies, life was seen as part of an endless cycle of birth and death; time was like a wheel, spinning ceaselessly. Yet somehow, the ancient Jews began to see time differently. For them, time had a beginning and an end; it was a narrative, whose triumphant conclusion would come in the future. From this insight came a new conception of men and women as individuals with unique destinies--a conception that would inform the Declaration of Independence--and our hopeful belief in progress and the sense that tomorrow can be better than today. As Thomas Cahill narrates this momentous shift, he also explains the real significance of such Biblical figures as Abraham and Sarah, Moses and the Pharaoh, Joshua, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.

Full of compelling stories, insights and humor, The Gifts of the Jews is an irresistible exploration of history as fascinating and fun as How the Irish Saved Civilization.

BONUS MATERIAL: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Thomas Cahill's Heretics and Heroes.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Chris_El - LibraryThing

I was hoping this was going to be a great as the earlier book from the same author: How the Irish Saved Civilization. The premise of this book is interesting. The author points out that ancient ... Read full review

Review: The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels (The Hinges of History #2)

User Review  - Goodreads

I liked the book a lot overall, but was irked to no end by Cahill's (arrogant) faithless summations of many supernatural, revelatory things as false, imagination, nonsense, etc. It's called FAITH. DUH ... Read full review


From Death to Life
From Tribe to Nation 1 65
From Many to One
Notes and Sources
The Books of the Hebrew Bible
General Index

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Thomas Cahill studied at New York's Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University, Fordham University, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America with some of the nation's most distinguished literary and biblical scholars.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Bibliographic information