History of the Jews
A national bestseller, this brilliant 4000 year survey covers not only Jewish history but he impact of Jewish genius and imagination on the world. By the author of Modern Times: The World From the Twenties to the Eighties.
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I believe "History of the Jews" is still considered to be the definitive history of the Jews. It was recommended to me by several members of the…moreDean-
I believe "History of the Jews" is still considered to be the definitive history of the Jews. It was recommended to me by several members of the Orthodox Jewish community as the most detailed and accurate account of the Jewish experience through history. I hope you will read this book and learn as much from it as I did from Johnson's amazing work. You won't be dissapointed. (less)
Before enlarging upon this perhaps controversial claim, we should consider Johnson's reasons for writing the 4000 year recorded history of the ...more
I abandoned this book when it became excruciatingly obvious that Johnson was cherry-picking historical arguments to find archaeological and historiographical support for Biblical events, and reducing more than a century of criticisms of this approach to Biblical archaeology to straw man caricatures ...more
It isn't so much what Johnson will teach you – it's how he says it, how he transmits the essence. To wit, here is part of his description of Mos ...more
Johnson brings a relentlessly moral worldview to his various surveys of history, and he has just enough difference in temperament and worldview from me to keep me reading critically. I have come to look forward ...more
The manner in which I approached the book also made it a bit confusin ...more
There is a lot of information in this book. Some parts were really fascinating and informative. Other parts were a bit slow. It seemed like the focus was more on the place of Jews in society than on their beliefs. Other than a long section in the middle that seemed to place a lot of emphasis on Jewish mysticism, there wasn't a lot of time spent on how religious beliefs evolved or stayed the same over the centuries. I would have liked more of that. The focus instead was much m ...more
The only way to get through massive volume like this quickly is to listen to it, which is what I did. You can discount all the negative reviews that say "just read a Bible!" because biblical history is only the first 15% of this book. Most Protestants have never read Maccabees and are generally unaware of the history of Israel between Micah and Matthew, making it hard to understand the contextual backdrop of the Gospels. Johnson comes from the Catholic tradition and almost assumes the reader has ...more
The opening chapter, Israelites, follows the Biblical narrative of the founders of the Hebrew nation, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David and Solomon, and then later, at the time of Isaiah, the narrative changes from when the descendants of Abraham became known as Jews, rather than Israelites.
The chapters ...more
Uma coisa que não gostei, mas não desmerece o livro, foi o claro posicionamento antiesquerda do autor. Nenhum intelectual da esquerda tem nenhuma qualidade. Não estou alegando que foram perfeitos, ninguém é, mas ficou claro que só foram ressaltados seus defeitos e ou posicionamentos que difiram ...more
1. It recounts the events. It is generally told in chronological order, but not strictly so. This allows the reader to understand themes that run through the story.
2. It places the story in context. One cannot tell the story of the Jews without telling the story of the world around the subject people.
3. It offers a point of view. This one is f ...more
I had just some issues with the use of "race" as referring to the Jewish people in the prologue and first chapter of the book, and with the exclusion of the tabernacle and it's role from the text (which I think would have made some of the observations of the latter role of the Temple, different). Other than those two thing ...more
Paul Johnson is nothing but thorough in his massive and well researched history of the Jews. Though he is clear and at pains to show the truth about Jewish history and to praise Jews throughout for their contributions to the world, one cannot escape the lack of 'mea culpa' in the Catholic role of persecution - he is after all, a leading Catholic writer. He also avoids Geza Vermes' conclusion that Jesus and his followers were indeed wholly Jewish, and not some self-appointed Messi ...more
The major complaints I had: The ancient history section is a little s ...more
One could not comprehend fully the History of the Jewish people without being aware of the contribution and impact of "Cathedocracy". One chapter of this book rightfully delves into it.
That being said, I didn't even make it through a q ...more
Paul Johnson has published over 40 books incl ...more