A Short History of the Jews

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Princeton University Press, Jun 13, 2010 - History - 421 pages

A Short History of the Jews is the story of the Jewish people told in a sweeping and powerful historical narrative. Michael Brenner chronicles the Jewish experience from Biblical times to today, tracing what is at heart a drama of migration and change, yet one that is also deeply rooted in tradition. He surveys the latest scholarly perspectives in Jewish history, making this short history the most learned yet broadly accessible book available on the subject.

Brenner takes readers from the mythic wanderings of Moses to the unspeakable atrocities of the Holocaust; from the Babylonian exile to the founding of the modern state of Israel; and from the Sephardic communities under medieval Islam to the shtetls of eastern Europe and the Hasidic enclaves of modern-day Brooklyn. This richly illustrated book is full of fascinating and often personal stories of exodus and return, from that told about Abraham, who brought his newfound faith into the land of Canaan, to that of Holocaust survivor Esther Barkai, who lived on a kibbutz established on a German estate seized from the Nazi Julius Streicher as she awaited resettlement in Israel. Brenner traces the major events, developments, and personalities that have shaped Jewish history down through the centuries, and highlights the important contributions Jews have made to the arts, politics, religion, and science.

Breathtaking in scope, A Short History of the Jews is a compelling blend of storytelling and scholarship that brings the history of the Jewish people marvelously to life.

 

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User Review  - twp77 - LibraryThing

Brenner's book is accessible, knowledgeable and concise. It is an excellent starting point for those wanting to learn more about the history of the Jewish people. The book also contains interesting ... Read full review

Contents

From Ur to Canaan
1
From Exile Back Home
19
From Modiin to Jerusalem
39
From Jerusalem to Yavneh
55
From Medina to Baghdad
69
From Sura to Cordoba
83
From Lisbon to Venice
117
From Khaybar to Rome
137
From Posen to New Orleans
209
From the Shtetl to the Lower
223
From Budapest to Tel Aviv
255
From Tétouan to Teheran
273
From Czernowitz to Cernauti
287
From Everywhere to Auschwitz
319
From Julius Streichers Farm
349
Jewish History in Numbers
389

From West to East
151
From Dessau to Berlin
167
From the Ghetto to Civil Society
189
Picture Credits
401
Index of Place Names
415
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Michael Brenner is professor of Jewish history and culture at the University of Munich. His books include Zionism: A Brief History and After the Holocaust: Rebuilding Jewish Lives in Postwar Germany (Princeton).

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