The Story of the Jews


The Story of the Jews 1492–1900

Simon Schama

A history of the Jews is possibly the greatest story that can be told. It is the story of mankind - at its most noble and at its most barbaric. Simon Schama believes that by the time of publication the Jewish epic will once again be the fulcrum on which the fate of the world turns - that a two-state solution brokered in the Middle East by the Obama administration will be under threat from militant fundamentalists, supported by two nuclear states, Iran and Pakistan, capable of inflicting catastrophic damage in the region and beyond. So that moment, loaded with peril for all humanity, will ultimately turn, as so often before, on the obstinacy and grandeur of Jewish history - on its will, against the odds, to endure.

From the invention of a single deity and the killing of his embodied Son through to the production of urban modernity, so much of supreme importance for humanity bears the imprint of Jewish thinking and culture. As well as exploring that history, Simon Schama - as he did in The American Future - will report from the battlefronts of today. He will talk to Jews and non-Jews, to archaeologists, rabbis, soldiers, hedge fund managers, Israeli Arabs and Jews for Jesus, film-makers, cartoonists and comedians.

This is in every sense a major book - in its chronological reach and its international scope, in its humour and its tragedy, in the depth of its drama, and in its ability to change the way in which we view the world.