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History in Review

Jewish Studies


The Archaeology of Ancient Judea and Palestine, by Ariel Lewin.
A brief overview of the history and archaeology of ancient Judea and Palestine, written for the general reader.

Between Rome and Jerusalem, By Martin Sicker.
In this book, Sicker demonstrates how, and why, Judea played such a large role in Roman Politics, in Rome's expansionist goals, and why it was important that Rome subjugate Judea.

The Brigade: An Epic Story of Vengeance, Salvation, and WWII, by Howard Blum.
A compelling history of the Jewish Brigade that chronicles its formation, and the Brigades activities both during and after World War II.

Defiance: The Bielski Partisans, by Nechama Tec.
The amazing, and true story, of the Bielski Partisans. Led by Tuvia Bielski, this remarkable resistance army rescued more than 1,200 Jews from near certain extermination at the hands of the Nazis, during the Nazi occupation of Belorussia.

Disability in Jewish Law, by Tzvi C. Marx.
Marx offers readers a much needed overview, in English, of the legalistic aspects of Jewish law concerning the disabled, and the obligation of the disabled to uphold these laws.

The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, edited by Spencer C. Tucker.
This four-volume encyclopedia contains more than 750 entries that explore the key personalities involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict, as well as the events, history, military actions, and places related to the conflict. This encyclopedia also includes more than 160 primary source documents.

Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora, edited by M. Avrum Ehrlich.
This three-volume encyclopedia examines the origins, experiences, and culture of the Jewish Diaspora from its earliest manifestation through to the modern day.

Goldberger's War: The Life and Work of a Public Health Crusader, by Alan M. Kraut.
A detailed biography of Dr. Joseph Goldberger, a Jewish immigrant to the United States who discovered the root cause of pellagra, a disease that often killed its victims and which, as Goldberger discovered, could be easily cured by a change in diet.

History of the Jews in the Modern World, A, by Howard M. Sachar.
A general, comprehensive reference guide on Jewish history from the late 1700's through 2004.

Israel: Challenges to Identity, Democracy and the State, By Clive Jones and Emma C. Murphy.
This book offers a brief overview of the state of Israeli politics and social cohesiveness, or lack thereof.

Israel: A History, by Martin Gilbert.
This book primarily concentrates on the first fifty years of Israeli statehood, Gilbert also details the events and figures that contributed to the formation of the state, including the pogroms in Russia that helped to foster the growth of Zionism, and the Holocaust which made the establishment of the state so vital as a safe harbor for the survivors.

Jerusalem's Traitor: Josephus, Masada, and the Fall of Judea, by Desmond Seward.
A dynamic biography of Josephus that will fascinate general readers and historians alike.

The Jewish Confederates, by Robert N. Rosen.
This remarkable book provides a detailed overview of the role that Southern Jewry played, on and off the battlefield, in support of the Confederate cause. Rosen also examines the lack of anti-Semitism that seems to have prevailed in the South, and he compares this to the higher levels of anti-Semitism that were perceived to have existed in the North.

Jewish Life in the Middle Ages, by Israel Abrahams.
A sweeping social history of Jewish life in Europe during the Middle Ages.

The Jewish People in Classical Antiquity, By John H. Hayes and Sara R. Mandell.
This book covers the turbulent period of Jewish history from 333 B.C.E. to 135 C.E. This periods covers a time frame begining with the conquest of Jewish Palestine by Alexander the Great and ends with the termination of the Second Jewish Revolt aginst Rome.

Jewish Travellers in the Middle Ages, Edited by Elkan Nathan Adler.
19 firsthand accounts of Jewish travel during the Middle Ages that were written between 801 and 1755. The accounts touch upon Jewish life in Europe, Africa, and the Near East.

Jewish Women in Fin de Sičle Vienna, by Alison Rose.
This is the definitive book on the history of Jewish women in Fin de Sičle Vienna, detailing the cultural, religious, and political life of Viennese Jewish women from 1890-1914.

Jewish Women Pioneering the Frontier Trail, by Jeanne E. Abrams.
A History in the American West. This text chronicles the history of Jewish Women in the American West from the 1848 Gold Rush through the early 1900's.

Jews in a Graeco-Roman World, Edited by Martin Goodman.
Unlike other minority groups which became intertwined with the Roman apparatus, the Jews not only maintained their own cultural identity and practices, but they also left behind written and archeological records of their existence and life under Roman rule. In Jews in a Graeco-Roman World, Goodman, has brought together a series of essays on the topic of Jewish life in the Graeco-Roman world.

The Jews in Britain, by Raphael Langham.
An annotated timeline of Jewish history in Britain from the arrival of the first Jew in Britain (date unknown) through to May 6, 2002.

Jews in the Early Modern World, by Dean Phillip Bell.
A detailed and readable overview of Jewish history in the early modern world.

Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora: From Alexander to Trajan, by John M. G. Barclay.
Academic study of Jewish history during the Graeco-Roman period is usually focused on Jewish life in Judea. Often overlooked are the far flung and substantial Jewish communities that were scattered around the Mediterranean. Until recently, if a reader had a desire to study this period of the Jewish diaspora, they quickly found that a basic text on this subject did not exist. This oversight has been corrected with the publication of Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora.

The Jews of Khazaria, by Kevin Alan Brook.
This is the second edition of Brook's ground breaking survey of Khazarian history and culture.

The Jews of the United States, 1654 to 2000, by Hasia R. Diner.
Offers a general survey of Jewish life in America, covering both historical, religious, and social milestones.

Kindler of Souls: Rabbi Henry Cohen of Texas, by Rabbi Henry Cohen II.
An intimate portrait of one the foremost American Rabbis, one who influenced not only Jewish history, but also the history of Texas.

The Last Jews in Baghdad: Remembering a Lost Homeland, by Nissim Rejwan.
The author's memoir of growing up Jewish in Baghdad in the first half of the 20th century. His story is entwined with insights into the history and culture of the Jews of Iraq.

The Medici State and the Ghetto of Florence, by Stefanie B. Siegmund.
The Construction of an Early Modern Jewish Community. A comprehensive history of the creation, in 1570, of the Ghetto of Florence and the impact that it had on Jewish and Italian history.

Mordecai: An Early American Family, by Emily Bingham.
In this work, Bingham provides a fascinating glimpse of Jewish life in America, from Colonial times through the Civil War.

Outsider in the Promised Land & Israel's Years of Bogus Grandeur, by Nissim Rejwan.
Told via Rejwan's articles, essays, letters, and diary entries, these books chronicle the author's life, and Israel's development, from 1951 through to the first Intifada.

Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America, by Kenneth R. Timmerman
A study on the rise of anti-semitism in the Middle East and throughout Europe, and what it means for Americans.

The Roman-Jewish Wars and Hebrew Cultural Nationalism, By Moshe Aberbach and David Aberbach.
This book covers two interrelated subjects - the Roman-Jewish wars and the development of Hebrew cultural nationalism. This is accomplished via a discussion the short and long term causes of the three revolts that erupted between the Jews and the Graeco-Romans, which occurred in 66-70, 115-17, and 132-35 C.E.

Sephardic Jews in America: A Diasporic History, by Aviva Ben-Ur.
An academically rigorous survey of the experiences and history of Sephardic Jews in America from 1654 through to the present.

Shush! Growing Up Jewish Under Stalin, by Emil Draitser.
An intimate and often humorous memoir about a young Jewish boy growing up in Odessa during the 1940 and 50s, while the Soviet Union was under the iron grip of Stalin.

Sliding to the Right: The Contest for the Future of American Jewish Orthodoxy, by Samuel C. Heilman.
In this timely and compelling book, Heilman looks at the causes and consequences of the shift of Orthodox Jewry toward the right, and what the future might hold in store for the American orthodox Jewish community.

They Called Me Mayer July, by Mayer Kirshenblatt and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett.
Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust.

They Dared Return: The True Story of Jewish Spies Behind the Lines in Nazi Germany, by Patrick K. O'Donnell.
The daring, and true story of five young refugees from Nazi Germany who joined the OSS and went back, behind enemy lines, to fight the Nazis face to face.

The Worlds of S. An-sky, by Gabriella Safran and Steven J. Zipperstein.
A Russian Jewish Intellectual at the Turn of the Century. A collection of sixteen essays on An-sky, written by scholars in a diverse range of fields including history, literature, anthropology, Slavic and Jewish studies. Includes a music CD containing Russian and Yiddish songs.


For additional reviews on topics relevant to the field of Jewish Studies, visit the The Holocaust, Middle East, and World War II reading rooms.

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