This book is a survey of the history of the Jewish people from biblical antiquity to the present, spanning nearly 2,500 years and traversing five continents.

Opening with a broad introduction which addresses key questions of terminology and definition, the book’s ten chapters then go on to explore Jewish history in both its religious and non-religious dimensions. The book explores the social, political and cultural aspects of Jewish history, and examines the changes and continuities across the whole of the Jewish world throughout its long and varied history. Topics covered include:

  • the emergence of Judaism as a religion and way of life
  • the development during the Middle Ages of Judaism as an all-encompassing identity
  • the effect on Jewish life and identity of major changes in Europe and the Islamic world from the mid sixteenth through the end of the nineteenth century
  • the complexity of Jewish life in the twentieth century, the challenge of anti-semitism and the impact of the Holocaust, and the emergence of the current centres of World Jewry in the State of Israel and the New World.

chapter 1|21 pages

The world of the Hebrew Bible

chapter 2|23 pages

The challenge of Hellenism

chapter 3|12 pages

The rise of Rabbinic Judaism

chapter 4|13 pages

The Jews of Islam

chapter 5|28 pages

The Jews of medieval Christendom

chapter 6|36 pages

World Jewry in flux, 1492–1750

chapter 9|28 pages

From renewal to devastation, 1914–45

chapter 10|10 pages

Jews in the postwar world