From ancient Palestine through Europe and Asia, to America and modern Israel, Max I. Dimont shows how the saga of the Jews is interwoven with the story of virtually every nation on earth.
“More interesting than the facts Dimont has collected…is the fascinating reasoning of a bright and unorthodox mind.”—San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle
“A book of life and hope. There are few greater documents to the vitality and perseverance of Man than this history of the Jews.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Done with warmth and vitality. Written for laymen by a scholarly layman who has a passion for his theme.”—Max Lerner
“By far the liveliest popular history of the Jewish people that I have ever read. In many ways, a strikingly original synthesis of Jewish history.”—Richard B. Morris, author of The Forging of the Union, 1781–1789 and Witnesses at the Creation
It Happened Only Once in History!
A streamlined review of the four thousand years and the six civilizations which have cradled the Jewish people, examining some of the perverse factors in one of history’s most illogical survivals – that of a nation which has proclaimed itself God’s Chosen People, and almost has the world convinced of it.
I: The Portable God
An in-depth survey of the Pagan Age, which begins with a band of nomads known as Hebrews, who elbow their way into history, “invent” a monopoly God, establish a kingdom, survive defeat, and outlive their conquerors, only to run headlong into the Greeks.
1: The Grand Illusion
2: The Reluctant Prophet
3: Judges, Kings, and Usurpers
4: Religion Is Packaged
II: The Age of the “Apikorsim”
How the Jews defended themselves against the “Apikorsim” – the Epicurean Greeks – and their naked statues; and how they survived military slaughter at the hands of the Romans, who laid Jerusalem waste and made much of Palestine off-limits to them.
5: The Baited Pin-Up Culture
6: The Fight That Failed
7: Rome, Caesarism, and Rebellion
8: The Sealed Coffin
9: The Conquering Word
10: A New Deal for Diaspora
III: Moses, Christ, and Caesar
An unorthodox account of the establishment of the Christian “Son religion” in competition with the Jewish “Father religion,” and how it challenged the might of Rome to become the creed of Europe.
11: Messiah and Apostle
12: The Church Triumphant
IV: The Invisible World of the Talmud
The incredible tale of how a handful of Jews scattered among alien cultures in three continents grew into an influential “intellectual world” by virtue of the invisible power of Talmudic learning, and how that learning finally consumed itself in the ghettos of medieval Europe.
13: The “Ivy League” Yeshivas
14: Bibliosclerosis of the Talmud
V: Muhammad, Allah, and Jehovah
The improbable but true tale of a camel driver’s establishment of a world empire in the name of Allah, wherein the Jews rose to their Golden Age of creativity, only to be plunged into a Dark Age with the eclipse of the Crescent and the ascent of the Cross.
15: History Travels to Mecca
16: The Jewish Renaissance in Mufti
17: The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Protestant Revolt
VI: The Prince and the Yellow Star
How the Jews with only a gesture – conversion – could have saved themselves from banishment in the ghetto, but insted chose the yellow star of ignominy, yet became indispensable to the medieval prince because they were the only ones who carried the torch of learning and the spirit of enterprise in an age of darkness.
18: Crusades, Renaissance, and Reformation
19: Concerto for Violence
20: The Yellow Badge of Courage
21: The Ghetto Capitalist
22: Kabala and Kinnanhorra
VII: On the Horns of Modern “Isms”
The second Jewish Exodus – from the ghetto into a rapidly shrinking world of freedom, where the Jews become prime ministers, generals, merchant princes, and the charter members in an intellectual avant-garde that was to change the destiny of the world and hurl new challenges to Jewish survival reminiscent of Babylonian times.
23: Anatomy of Emancipation
24: Rehearsal for Racism
25: Western Europe: The New Enlightenment
26: Eastern Europe: The New Humanism
27: United States: The New Babylon
28: The Brown-Shirted Christ Killers
29: The Will to Win: From Zionism to the State of Israel
VIII: Conclusion: A Cultural Mosaic
Concluding the odyssey of the Jewish people through four thousand years of history, venturing a historical explanation of the remarkable survival of this people, which is as modern and intellectually alive today as it was four millennia ago.
30: Exiled to Freedom
Appendix: The Recent History of Palestine/Israel