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Summary

Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize

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 20th 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; and an opera composer in 19th-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 and 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.

©2017 Simon Schama (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • G. Child
  • Skegness, Lincolnshire
  • 09-02-18

The Story of the Jews

narrator very good. Excellent book also for student study. loved learning all their early history .

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful informative read

Simon Schama can add detail and colour to the historical events in a way that makes the people from the past jump out of the pages of the book sit with you at the table recounting their lives. As a narrator he does not impose himself and seems relally to be driven mainly by the need to understand and know. I loved this book and i regret it is over....The second part was however for me atleast read be tter than the first....

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

A wide ranging history of the Jewish people.

Many useful insights into Jewish history, culture, religion and thought. The mini biographies of famous, and not so famous individuals are particularly interesting and help to tell the bigger story.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Jane
  • Bangor, Down, United Kingdom
  • 29-10-17

Excellent sequel

Simon Schama continues his much anticipated epic history of the Jews and doesn’t disappoint. Brilliant.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • mcsmall
  • Larbert, Stirlingshire
  • 09-04-18

A series of biographies rather than history

This book was not what I was expecting, as I was hoping to hear a chronological or thematic approach.Instead, this was a biographical series and I was disappointed.
I felt there was to much detail at the expense of analysis

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An Amazing Tour de Force

This book must rank as one of the truly great achievements in the telling of the story of the Jews. Simon Schama has written this in three volumes, the final one to be published shortly. I found that this volume, entitled Belonging, was absolutely riveting. The narration is superb. It is great length but do not let this put you off. You'll find it is gripping and the only sadness is that it has to end. I can thoroughly recommend this volume without any hesitation in the knowledge that it must be one of the most powerful evocations of Jewish history which should have an appeal to Jews and non-Jews alike.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Stowmarket
  • 10-05-18

An interesting read

good read if lengthy. whilst I enjoyed the detail a synopsis would be a useful addition. such a lot to remember and not easily refound on audible