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They number barely a million today, less than one-tenth of the world Jewish population. But long ago, on Iberian soil, they were the magisters of their people, and the leaven of Mediterranean civilization altogether. Such were the Sephardim, and in Moslem Andalusia they were renowned prime ministers and army commanders, distinguished scientists, belletrists, and religious scholars. In Christian Spain and Provence, their translators ignited Europe's twelfth-century renaissance, their revenue agents funded the economies of Aragon and Castile, and their astronomers and navigators plotted the explorations of Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama.
From the late fifteenth century onward, in exile from their Spanish and Portuguese homelands, the Sephardim made their mark as viziers and intimate advisers of Ottoman sultans, as vastly esteemed physicians of Renaissance dukes and popes, and as dynamic importers and exporters in the Dutch maritime traffic. Whether as professing Jews or converted "New Christians," it was this protean minority that functioned as a self-contained international trading network, spanning the seas and oceans, pioneering the gem industry of Europe and the sugar and tobacco plantations of Brazil, and flourishing as merchant ship captains amid pirate-infested Caribbean waterways.
Farewell Espana transcends conventional historical narrative. With the lucidity and verve that have characterized his numerous earlier volumes, Howard Sachar breathes life into the leading dramatis personae of the Sephardic world: the royal counselors Samuel ibn Nagrela and Joseph Nasi, the poets Solomon ibn Gabirol and Judah Halevi, the philosophers Moses Maimonides and Baruch Spinoza, the statesmen Benjamin Disraeli and Pierre Mendes-France, the warriors Moshe Pijade and David Elazar, the fabulous charlatans David Reuveni and Shabbatai Zvi.
In its breadth and richness of texture, Sachar's account sweeps to the contemporary era of Mussolini, Hitler, and Franco, poignantly traces the fate of Balkan Sephardic communities during the Holocaust -- and their revival in the Land and State of Israel. Not least of all, the author offers a tactile dimension of immediacy in his personal encounters with the storied venues and current personalities of the Sephardic world. Farewell Espana is a window opened on a glowing civilization once all but extinguished, and now flickering again into renewed creativity.
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Based in Washington, D.C., where he is Charles E. Smith Professor of History at George Washington University, Howard Morley Sachar lectures extensively throughout the United States and abroad.Review:
The Course of Modern Jewish History
"A work of rich merit, full of fine insights, written with clarity, enthusiasm and passion, brimming with data." -- New York Herald Tribune
Aliyah: The Peoples of Israel
"A superbly rounded picture of Israel through 1948 with the good as well as the bad features of Israel's life clearly, completely, and sometimes poetically described."
-- Library Journal
From the Ends of the Earth the Peoples of Israel
"Sachar's book is somewhere between art and history, and indeed its success -- for it is successful -- lies in the fact that it is both at once." -- Jerusalem Post
The Emergence of the Middle East
"Alive with dramatic events and a dramatis personae of great men and small ... vivid and discerningly portrayed. It is well balanced in composition,detailed but not overcrowded, clear in perspective, charged with movement ... A work of Churchillian sweep and power." -- The New York Times
Europe Leaves the Middle East
"Professor Sachar is a superb historian ... His real merit is the way in which he has woven together the facts into a story that is likely to engross expert and layman alike." -- History
A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to our Time
"This book, in conception and execution, the sweep of its presentation, its keen analysis and sensitive interpretation, bears the hallmark of a magnum opus."
-- American Historical Review
Diaspora: An Inquiry Into the Contemporary Jewish World
"Sachar's complex and intricately woven story has the excitement of detail we expect more from literary art than from academic history."
-- Los Angeles Times
A History of the Jews in America
"Monumental ... will undoubtedly stand as the definitive work on the American Jewish experience for many years ... Magnificent."
-- San Francisco Chronicle
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Book Description Knopf, 1994. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # tax jew 022218ui
Book Description Knopf, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0679409602
Book Description Knopf, 1994. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0679409602
Book Description Knopf. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0679409602 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0257424