A History of the Jews

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Paul Johnson's A History of the Jews is probably the finest popular history of the Jewish people written in the English language, since its content is so terrifically enriched. The book is maybe written 15 years ago, but the exploration of the Jewish made it an incredible document. That is also a reason why they do reprints (My edition is the first one with the white cover) Johnson's history begins with the Bible and ends with the establishment of the State of Israel. And for that matter, it has remained popular since its appearance to public in 1987, even though many books, school manuals and popular histories have come out since then. What Johnson did with his book is that he has written it with passion which helps readers a lot to understand the drama of Jewish history. The words that Paul uses in his context are easy to understand, that helped me a lot to imagine the scene in my head during my reading. For example, the details that he used to describe this World War 2 holocaust scene are so realistic that I find it disturbing: "About 250 Jews were massacred by the guards, but twenty-seven escaped. Four Jewish girls who got the explosives in were tortured for weeks, but gave no information. Roza Robota, who died under torture, gave as her last message: "Be strong and brave." Two of them survived the torture to be hanged in front of all women in Auschwitz, one of them with the cry `Revenge! As she died." (P510) What I like a lot about the way he wrote the book is that he is a very neutral author, which means he didn't require stereotypes and sensationalism to complete his book. In order to help readers understand better the history of Jews, Paul Johnson managed to divide his masterpiece into 7 chapters. Each one represents a period in the history of the Jews. Israelites Judaism Cathedocracy Ghetto Emancipation Holocaust Zion Personally I think that the chapters are very long but it's understandable since Paul's goal was to put as most information as possible in one single book. I also want to mention that half the book is centered in the Modern era, especially to the last 2 centuries, the Zionism, the Enlightenment and the Holocaust. The historical and social references from the Bible, provides the Jewish people both ethics and history issues.
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