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In "The Gifts of the Jews", Thomas Cahill reveals the critical change that made Western civilisation possible. Within the matrix of ancient religions and philosophies, life was seen as an endless cycle of birth and death; time was like a wheel, spinning irrevocably until ancient Jews began to see time differently, as a narrative whose triumphant conclusion would come in the future. From this insight came a new concept of men and women as individuals with unique destinies, and our hopeful belief in progress and the sense that tomorrow can be better than today. Full of compelling stories, insights, and humour, this book is an irresistible exploration of the origins of some of our oldest and most closely held beliefs.
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Thomas Cahill, author of the bestselling How the Irish Saved Civilization, continues his Hinges of History series with The Gifts of the Jews, a light-handed, popular account of ancient Jewish culture, the culture of the Bible. The book is written from a decidedly modern point of view. Cahill notes, for instance, that Abraham moved the Jews from Ur to the land of Canaan "to improve their prospects," and that the leering inhabitants of Sodom surrounded Lot's lodging "like the ghouls in Night of the Living Dead." The Gifts of the Jews nonetheless encourages us to see the Old Testament through ancient eyes--to see its characters not as our contemporaries but as those of Gilgamesh and Amenhotep. Cahill also lingers on often-overlooked books of the Bible, such as Ruth, to discuss changes in ancient sensibility. The result is a fine, speculative, eminently readable work of history.From the Publisher:
A NATIONAL BESTSELLER!
Persuasive as well as entertaining...Mr. Cahill's book [is] a gift."--Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
"An outstanding and very readable book...highly recommended."--Library Journal
"A very good read, a dramatically effective, often compelling retelling of the Hebrew Bible."--Charles Gold, Chicago Sun Times
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Book Description Lion Books, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P11074595054X