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The Thirteenth Tribe: The Khazar Empire and its Heritage

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  284 ratings  ·  28 reviews
This book traces the history of the Khazar Empire, a major but almost forgotten power in Eastern Europe, which in the Dark Ages became converted to Judaism. Khazaria was finally wiped out by the forces of Genghis Khan, but evidence indicates that the Khazars themselves migrated to Poland & formed the cradle of Western Jewry. To the general reader the Khazars, who flour ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 12th 1976 by Random House (NYC) (first published January 1st 1976)
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The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo SandThe Life Of An American Jew In Racist, Marxist Israel by Jack BernsteinProtocols of the Learned Elders of Zion by Sergei NilusThe Thirteenth Tribe by Arthur KoestlerThe Ruling Elite by Deanna Spingola
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When this book came out it caused a big controversy although I'm not quite sure how anybody could rationally critique what Koestler put forth here. I don't think any sane human being that knows how to read could say that the good bulk of the European/Eastern European Jews are descended from the biblical Israelites. Koestler documents how these European Jews came out the Khazar tribe of southeast Russia/Khazakistan who even back then were a mixed race people mainly of Turko-Armenian type racial s ...more
J Bel
At the time it was written, the thesis of The Thirteenth Tribe was justified by the facts then available. The broad conclusions offered were never justified by the very small amount of real data presented. Since the publication of The Thirteenth Tribe, additional scholarship from anthropologists, historians, and geneticists have shown the conclusions of the author to be invalid.

The author’s thesis, that modern Eastern European Jews, the Ashkenazim, are largely descended from the Khazar people i
Don Rea
I happened across this on a library shelf just a few months after I read /The Dictionary Of the Khazars/. Until that moment I had assumed that the whole basic story of Pavic's novel, the conscious adoption of Judasim by the Khazar Empire after a bake-off among Judaism, Chrisitanity and Islam, and the Khazars' subsequent complete fade from history, was made up. I was struck quite dumb for several minutes when I saw Koestler's book in the history section.

Most of the book is a competent but ordinar
This book researches such a minority strain of history and historical theory that it is almost hard to classify this as "nonfiction." However, it is a great, fascinating read on the alternate history of the origins of a good portion of today's Jews. The history of the c. 600-1200 AD makeup of the Caucauses is quite interesting, and Koestler teaches you a good deal about the origins of the Hungarians, the Russians, and other nations that were born of the Eastern European Steppes. The book begins ...more
I read this over 20 years ago and re-discovered it my bookcase recently. It was well-worth a second read. A controversial book when it was published it is now backed-up with new scholarship. Koestler and new scholars make a very credible argument that a good part of European Jewry is in fact, Khazar-based. It must throw anti-Semites into a dizzy
Koestler believed that most of now Jews are rooted from an old land north-west of Caspean Sea called Khazar. Because of Khazar Empire, Caspean Sea is still called "Darya-ye Khazar" (Khazar Sea) in Persian.
تا آنجا که می دانم کستلر دو کتاب یکی به نام “قبیله ی سیزدهم" و دیگری به نام امپراطوری خزران دارد. در سال های اخیر دو کتاب، یکی با نام "قبیله ی سیزدهم، امپراتوری خزران و میراث آن" با ترجمه ی جمشید ستاری(1361) و کتاب دیگری با نام “خزران" با ترجمه ی محمدعلی موحد(1361) منتشر شده است. من البته هیچ ک
Why is everyone so quick to jump on the bandwagon of the Khazar theory? It holds about as much truth as a vegetable drainer does water. Of course, it is a convenient theory for attack for anti-Zionists, but when really put under the microscope, the evidence for it is by far overwhelmingly outdone by the evidence against it. I am seeing so many posts about it just lately that I dare say the majority of those spreading these trendy posts haven't actually spent any significant time to study it from ...more
Henry Sturcke
This was a fascinating read. I had not been aware until then of the Khazar empire, nor that a portion of its ruling elite converted to Judaism. Subsequent scholarship has invalidated Koestler's wider claim that the bulk of Ashkenazi (central European Jewry) are of Khazar descent. Yet aside from the truth of this issue, I was disturbed when I finished the book by what Koestler seemed to feel was the implication of his theory, namely, that the mass murder inflicted by the Nazis in the holocaust wa ...more
Adam Cherson
I rate this book a 3.71 on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being best. For many years I harbored a speculation that one side of my family originated from the Caucasus area and this book provides me with all the proofs I need to move from speculation to hypothesis. After reading this book there is no question in my mind that many of the Jews who wound up piled together in the Pale of Settlement of Eastern Europe migrated there from the Southeast, from the areas around and between the Black Sea and the C ...more
Ferda Nihat Koksoy
Kitaptan Alıntılar ve Sentezler:
***Kendisi Budapeşte Yahudisi olan ünlü düşünür Arthur Koestler’in bu araştırması üzerindeki tartışmalar ve DNA çalışmaları halen sürmektedir.

-Dinyeper nehri ile Hazar Gölü arasında yaşayan çok sayıda Türk kabilesi, HAZAR İMPARATORLUĞU (HAZARYA) etkisinde olup 740 yılında, etraflarındaki İslam (Emevi) ve Hıristiyan (Bizans) baskılarına karşı daha az asimile edici olan YAHUDİLİĞİ seçmiştir.
" A l'époque où Charlemagne se fit couronner empereur d'Occident, l'extrémité orientale de l'Europe, entre le Caucase et la Volga, était dominée par un Etat juif connu sous le nom d'Empire khazar... " Ainsi débute le récit d'Arthur Koestler sur l'une des plus passionnantes énigmes des temps médiévaux.

En historien novateur, il retrace méticuleusement l'épopée des Khazars, de leurs origines à leur déclin.

S'attardant sur la composition de la mosaïque ethnique de ce peuple guerrier et sur ses myth
Susan Bender
I found this book riveting and informative. I am most likely descended from the 13th Tribe. I gained tremendous insight into my people's history.
Jen Friedman
I really loved reading this book. As an adoptee, I totally buy into the premise that all of todays Jews are descendants from a tribe that adopted Judaism. It was a challenging read for me though, and I cannot imagine it is for those who do not have a good command of the English language. Having many historical and geographical references, of which I am unfamiliar with most, increased the time it took me to read it. For thorough comprehension I found myself rereading many pages; however, because ...more
Da un punto di vista strettamente antropologico pu sembrare datato. Non si pu neppure pensare che esista una "razza ebraica", dato che il concetto stesso di "razza" superato: non pi cos urgente, per fortuna, dover dimostrare che essere ebrei non vuol dire essere semiti e viceversa. Ma dal punto di vista storico e culturale estremamente interessante vedere come la maggior parte degli ebrei della diaspora provengano fin dal medioevo dalla zona tra il Volga, il Don e i Carpazi l, nella culla del ...more
Meme si il demanderait aujourd'hui une serieuse actualisation, et si le romancier de génie a du mal à se contenir dans le role de l historien, un livre plein de faits historiques, d anecdotes et de references culturelles souvent peu connus sur les Khazars et leurs liens etroits avec l histoire des communautés juives d Europe orientale. Aujourd hui presque tabou, cette histoire extraordinaire meriterait d etre approfondie...
Must READ. Better understanding on JEW tribe.
Non-fiction account of the conversion of the Khazars to Judaism. Koestler argued that these converts became the ancestors of East European Jewry after the end of the Khazar hegemony on the steppe to the North of the Caspian and Black Seas.

At the time of writing it was too early for the kinds of genetic analysis available today and archeological evidence was not utilised in this book.
This a book about the so called "jews" or Europe, who actually AREN'T Jews at all. They come from the Khazar tribe and have fooled the entire world into thinking they are God's chosen people. These chain of events were prophesied in the your research!!
Interesting book about the Khazar kingdom. He has a controversial view that most of Eastern European Jewry originated with the descendants of Khazars. I consider this highly unlikely. Still, there is good historical information in here
If one puts aside Koestlers preferences towards the Khazars and his prejudices towards Arabs, one can find quite a lot useful informations about the ancestors of the contemporary Jew.
محمد على عطية
بحث فى أصول اليهود الحاليين من خلال تتبع تاريخ الخزر و إعتناقهم لليهودية ثم إضمحلال دولتهم و إنتشارهم ليكونوا أغلبية يهود شرق و وسط أوروبا و روسيا....أى أغلبية يهود إسرائيل اليوم
Islam Yousuf
One of the best books in anthropology at all , it has solved a lot of questions & dilemmas in my mind regarding the uniqueness of the Jewish race
Ken Yakovac
Airtight in it's argument but probably the dryest read I've ever encountered.
I read this book some years ago. I think it is time for a re-read.
Mar 06, 2014 Bettie☯ rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Susanna, Laura, Carey and all history buffs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sam Kyle
Sam Kyle marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2015
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Arthur Koestler CBE [*Kösztler Artúr] was a prolific writer of essays, novels and autobiographies.

He was born into a Hungarian Jewish family in Budapest but, apart from his early school years, was educated in Austria. His early career was in journalism. In 1931 he joined the Communist Party of Germany but, disillusioned, he resigned from it in 1938 and in 1940 published a devastating anti-Communis
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