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The Origin of the Jews: The Quest for Roots in a Rootless Age

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  5 reviews
The Jews have one of the longest continuously recorded histories of any people in the world, but what do we actually know about their origins? While many think the answer to this question can be found in the Bible, others look to archaeology or genetics. Some skeptics have even sought to debunk the very idea that the Jews have a common origin. In this book, Steven Weitzman ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published May 30th 2017 by Princeton University Press
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Peter Herrmann
Dec 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
Giving this book only a 1-star rating is perhaps unfair because there is a tremendous amount of research and scholarship here. But this book is verbose almost beyond endurance. Much of the information - 'big picture'-wise - I had already known. But the minutiae, and the academic hemming & hawing is just mind-numbing. Even the final 'Conclusion' section is wordy almost beyond bearing. And, it is totally inconclusive (not the author's fault -it's just that all the studies [seemingly hundreds] ...more
Peter Goodman

“The Origin of the Jews: the quest for roots in a rootless age,” by Steven Weitzman (Princeton, 2017). Weitzman, who is among other things Ella Darivoff Director of the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, looks at the question from every possible way, starting with semiotics and the question whether it is either possible or worthwhile to seek to find the origin of anything, working his way through genealogy, archeology, history, Freud (!), paleol
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WK Dodds
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To my surprise, this book was as much about the methods, history, politics and issues involved in searches for origins as well as the vast efforts to research the origins of the Jewish people themselves.

I found to be an extraordinary application of social and hard science in explaining and assessing the evidence with respect to it’s most contentious topic.

While I am no expert in the fields covered, Weizmann writes with clarity, humility and genuine interest about the sear
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Steven Weitzman is the Abraham M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures and Ella Darivoff Director of the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Prof. Weitzman received his Ph.D. from Harvard University after completing his B.A. at UC Berkeley and spent several years teaching in the Department of Religious Studies
...more