Belonging : The Story of the Jews, 1492 - 1900
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZESelected as a Book of the Year 2017 by the Daily Telegraph, Mail on Sundayand Observer 'A glittering gemstone of a book' The TimesThe Jewish story is a history that is about, and for, all of us. And in our own time of anxious arrivals and enforced departures, the Jews? search for a home is more startlingly resonant than ever. Belonging is a magnificent cultural history abundantly alive with energy, character and colour. It spans centuries and continents, from the Jews? expulsion from Spain in 1492 it navigates miracles and massacres, wandering, discrimination, harmony and tolerance; to the brink of the twentieth century and, it seems, a point of profound hope.It tells the stories not just of rabbis and philosophers but of a poetess in the ghetto of Venice; a boxer in Georgian England; a general in Ming China; an opera composer in nineteenth-century Germany. The story unfolds in Kerala and Mantua, the starlit hills of Galilee, the rivers of Colombia, the kitchens of Istanbul, the taverns of Ukraine and the mining camps of California. It sails in caravels, rides the stage coaches and the railways; trudges the dawn streets of London, hobbles along with the remnant of Napoleon?s ruined army. Through Schama?s passionate telling of this second chronicle in an epic tale, a history emerges of the Jewish people that feels it is the story of everyone, of humanity.
The epic conclusion to Simon Schama's landmark history of the Jews, following his highly acclaimed first volume.
"A magnificent achievement... [a] parade of bustlingly vital characters from across the globe ... all painted in luminous colour... By offering such a throbbing cavalcade of characters, Schama is defying several key assumptions, even stereotypes, about Jewish history and Jews themselves... Above all, while much Jewish history can read like a sorrowful trudge through disaster, plague and pogrom, Schama's book teems with life rather than death" -- Jonathan Freedland * Guardian * "A rich melody that soars above the ground bass of prejudice and persecution ... Schama has made himself the leading virtuoso of our time. This second volume of this trilogy is an affirmation of faith in the grand narrative ... Its familiar and familial tone proclaims the author's unapologetic mission to play his part in the story of the Jews by bringing their history alive... [A] glittering gemstone of a book" -- Daniel Johnson * The Times * "Magisterial... In a wonderfully rich narrative that moves between continents and disciplines of history, Schama describes the influence Jews have had on the world... Schama is superb on the chances for assimilation that Georgian society offered wealthy Jews who had nominally converted... The third and final volume won't be easy reading. But at least in the company of Schama - one of the finest writers and thinkers of his generation - we're guaranteed a guide both insightful and eloquent" -- Saul David * Daily Telegraph * "Rich, complex and fascinating ... Schama maintains the attention with the vividness of his writing and his talent for unearthing gripping figures full of human contradictions. And through this dazzling immersion in the preoccupations of the period that the bigger picture slowly emerges ... Profoundly illuminating" -- Andrew Anthony * Observer * "Simon Schama is an international treasure ... In this reworking of a birth of a nation, Schama reveals himself not so much the D. W. Griffith as the Tintoretto of historical narrative. By painterly touches, he manages to convey colour, texture, shape, context, light and shadow, as well as to stimulate the senses ... Schama displays reflective intelligence and discerning human insight ... He is imaginative, epigrammatic and fearless ... an effervescent cicerone who instructs and entertains in like measure." -- Bernard Wasserstein * Spectator *
Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University. His award-winning books, translated into fifteen languages, include Citizens, Landscape and Memory, Rembrandt's Eyes, A History of Britain, The Power of Art, Rough Crossings and The American Future. His art columns for the New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for criticism and his journalism has appeared regularly in the Guardian and the Financial Times where he is Contributing Editor. He has written and presented forty films for BBC2 on subjects as diverse as Tolstoy, American politics and John Donne and won an Emmy for The Power of Art.