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The People and the Books : 18 Classics of Jewish Literature
by Adam Kirsch


Overview -

Jews have long embraced their identity as "the people of the book." But outside of the Bible, much of the Jewish literary tradition remains little known to nonspecialist readers. The People and the Books shows how central questions and themes of our history and culture are reflected in the Jewish literary canon: the nature of God, the right way to understand the Bible, the relationship of the Jews to their Promised Land, and the challenges of living as a minority in Diaspora.  Read more...


 
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More About The People and the Books by Adam Kirsch
 
 
 
Overview

Jews have long embraced their identity as "the people of the book." But outside of the Bible, much of the Jewish literary tradition remains little known to nonspecialist readers. The People and the Books shows how central questions and themes of our history and culture are reflected in the Jewish literary canon: the nature of God, the right way to understand the Bible, the relationship of the Jews to their Promised Land, and the challenges of living as a minority in Diaspora. Adam Kirsch explores eighteen classic texts, including the biblical books of Deuteronomy and Esther, the philosophy of Maimonides, the autobiography of the medieval businesswoman Gluckel of Hameln, and the Zionist manifestoes of Theodor Herzl. From the Jews of Roman Egypt to the mystical devotees of Hasidism in Eastern Europe, The People and the Books brings the treasures of Jewish literature to life and offers new ways to think about their enduring power and influence.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780393241761
  • ISBN-10: 0393241769
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Publish Date: October 2016
  • Page Count: 432
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Literary Criticism > Jewish
Books > Religion > Judaism - History
Books > History > Jewish - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-08-08
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this insightful and comprehensive volume, Kirsch has chosen 18 classic works of Jewish literature through which he tells the unique story of the Jewish people and of Jewish thought throughout the ages. The books segue seamlessly from one work to the next, each classic building upon the last in terms of history and Jewish tradition. A timeline puts people and locations into perspective, while brief summaries precede every analysis to familiarize those new to the work. His goal is to “open up these texts to the interested reader—to show what they contain, how and why they were written, and what they can tell us about Judaism and Jewishness.” Among these is The Book of Esther, The Jewish State by Theodor Herzl, The Jewish War by Flavius Joesphus, The Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln, Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), and Tevye the Dairyman by Sholem Aleichem, the sheer variety of which gives voice to many fascinating and distinctive perspectives. Kirsch’s writing is eloquent and articulate, and his ability to pull together the social, intellectual, religious, and political threads of every era results in an intelligent and engaging foray into Jewish literary history. (Oct.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews