"Sacred Chain" Ancient Medieval Hebrew Jewish History Diaspora Sepharad v Muslim

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Seller: ancientgifts (4,777) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 382526304278 The Sacred Chain: The History of the Jews by Norman F. Cantor. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Hardback with Dust Jacket: 472 pages. Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers; (1994).The Romans found the Jews querulous, recalcitrant, divided among themselves, and difficult to govern. But the Jews had a book of historical and religious writings that aroused the interest and stirred the admiration of the more literate Romans. Among the many peoples the Romans conquered, only the Greeks had an ancient literature of, in their eyes, comparable quality. The Jewish book told a long story about, among other subjects, the origin of the Jews." "The Sacred Chain" is the most readable, comprehensive, and up-to-date history of the Jews in the English language. Norman Cantor's extraordinary book focuses on the creation and perpetuation of a unique Jewish identity and consciousness through three thousand years of tumultuous, often catastrophic, change. It is the book's contention that the Jewish people are a distinct ethnic group who emerged from the ancient world and, through their encounters with other societies, developed a unique and persistent culture, behavior pattern, and outlook. Norman Cantor convincingly demonstrates that this distinctive Jewish sensibility is apparent among all Jews, even those assimilated into other cultures and converted to other religions. "The Sacred Chain" addresses itself vigorously to the defining moments in Jewish history. The authenticity of the Old Testament stories. The relationship between the ancient Jewish elites and the emergent Christian communities inspired by Rabbi Saul. How the ghettoization of the Jews at the hands of the Nazis was prefigured in their medieval persecution by Pope Innocent III. The complex and mutually beneficial relations between Sepharad Jews and their Muslim-Arab rulers during the golden years of the Mediterranean renaissance. The historical and cultural dynamics of the Diaspora following expulsion from Spain in 1492. How and why, despite their minute numbers, Jews have played such a prominent role in every major Western intellectual movement (Marx and Ricardo in economics, Proust and Kafka in literature, Spinoza, Einstein, Freud and Derrida in the world of ideas). The mechanics of, and reactions of world Jewry to, the horrors of the Shoah. The formation of the state of Israel. The practicalities of future peace with the Arabs. The key question of the future of the Jewish people. CONDITION: NEW. New hardcover w/dustjacket. Harpercollins (1994) 472 pages. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread, though of course it is possible that the book might have been flipped through once or twice while in the bookstore. The dustjacket and cover evidence only very mild edge and corner shelfwear, but no tears, or chips of any significance. Condition is entirely consistent with new stock from an open-shelf bookstore environment such as Barnes & Noble or B. Dalton), where "new" books might show minor signs of shelfwear, consequence simply of being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 14 days! #1670b. PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: The Sacred Chain is the most comprehensive, readable, up-to-date history of the Jews in the English language. The focus is on how a Jewish identity and consciousness were created, perpetuated, and shaped through three millennia of tumultuous and complex development. Norman F. Cantor sees the Jews as a distinctive ethnic group, rising from anthropological and sociological sources in ancient times. Then, molded in part by interaction with other societies, the Jews developed a unique and persistent culture, behavior pattern, and mind-set. Cantor regards Jewish history as embracing all people regarded by themselves or others as Jews and argues that there is a distinctive Jewish sense and sensibility that are apparent among Jews assimilated to other cultures and converted to other religions, as well as among those who have remained loyal to traditional religion. This book is certain to generate an intense public debate on the meaning of Jewish ethnicity and the significance of Jewish history. Norman F. Cantor was Emeritus Professor of History, Sociology, and Comparative Literature at New York University. His academic honors include appointments as a Rhodes Scholar, Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellow at Princeton University, and Fulbright Professor at Tel Aviv University. His many books include the New York Times bestseller "In the Wake of the Plague", "Antiquity", "Inventing the Middle Ages", which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and "The Civilization of the Middle Ages", the most widely read narrative of the Middle Ages in the English language. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: Norman Cantor, an eminent scholar, professor, and writer, traces the turbulent history of the Jews through 3,000 years, presenting a narrative that involves what he refers to as intellectual criticism and historiographical assessments of leading themes. Cantor begins with a discussion of the origin of the Jews, calling the Hebrew Bible's historical narrative of the Jewish people through 15 centuries before the Christian Era "weak and nonverifiable." He continues by focusing on such historic events as the Jews' covenant with God, Pharisaic and Hellenistic Judaism (in what he terms "Jewish diversity"), and the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem and the Jewish decline in the first half of the first millennium of the Christian Era. Here, too, are chapters on the Mediterranean renaissance, the growth of Ashkenazic and Sephardic cultures, the Jewish reformation, modernity and emancipation, and the Holocaust. As for the future, Cantor insists that only the establishment of certain provisions, or the coming of the Messiah, can save the Jewish people from extinction through assimilation and intermarriage. The coming of the Messiah is more likely, he believes. Cantor gives the reader a penetrating history of Jewish experiences and achievements throughout the ages. One of the most comprehensive and insightful works to be published in its field. Polemic and stimulating, it is an iconoclastic assault on contemporary Jewish self-imagery based on many of the latest academic studies. REVIEW: Full of unorthodox opinions, Cantor's searching, critical, captivating history of the Jewish people is bound to be controversial. He deems the biblical account of Jewish origins, featuring Abraham and Moses, "a romantic fantasy" in light of historical and archeological research. In chapters rich in sociological insight, he discusses the fate of Jews in the Roman Empire and medieval Christendom. The symbiotic interaction of Jews and Muslim Arabs in Spain and the Mediterranean. The "Jewish Reformation" undertaken by Hasidism, Kabbalism and other movements. European Jews' emancipation and their key role in the vanguard of cultural modernism. The Holocaust and the creation of Israel. Building on the work of David Wyman and other historians, he indicts American Jewry for failure to take action that might have mitigated the Holocaust. Cantor, a prolific historian and professor at New York University, sets the achievements of Jesus, Maimonides, Buber, Spinoza, Freud and others in the context of Jewish and world history. Contemporary American Jews may be committing "racial suicide by intermarriage," opines Cantor; nevertheless, he maintains, "the Jews have fulfilled their role in history" by giving the world monotheism and puritanical ethics, and spawning Christianity and Islam. An important, controversial account of the history of the Jewish people that is both scholarly and compulsively readable. REVIEW: In this one-volume, popularly oriented history of the Jewish people from ancient times to the present, Professor Cantor states that the "sacred chain," i.e., the 3000-year-old continuity of the Jewish people, probably will be broken during the next century. The Jews have accomplished their purpose in history. They gave the world ethical monotheism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Down through the ages this extremely gifted people has contributed mightily to the storehouse of the world's knowledge in the sciences, arts, and humanities. Now, Cantor says, unless a miracle occurs, they are a dying, fossilized people who will eventually disappear through massive assimilation. Of course, many Jews and Gentiles will hotly debate Cantor's thesis, and this book should generate much discussion. If your collection lacks a new history of the Jews, this book is the ticket. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: This stimulating and provocative book will irritate a large number of its Jewish readers both through its contents and probably also through its manner. The book's title, to begin with, is misleading if it suggests that there is a central tradition which runs through the History of the Jews. The title of one of the chapters, "Jewish Diversity" corresponds more closely with the theme of the work; but few of those diversities escape without some reprimand from Professor Cantor, Judaism's "candid friend". Thus the orthodox rabbinate is repeatedly criticized for erecting, from Hellenic times onwards, a high barrier between Judaism and the more advanced cultures surrounding them: Jews must bear some responsibility for ghettoization, for to an extent they ghettoized themselves. On the other hand, he refers several times to Emancipation as a Faustian bargain; and the efforts of Reform rabbis in the 19th and 20th centuries to promote acculturation without assimilation are described as "feeble and inconsequential". The "marvelous varieties of Jewish responses [to the modern world] which have so enriched Western culture" are due to the fact that orthodox and reform rabbis alike have failed to provide adequate intellectual leadership. Only a few Jewish religious thinkers - like Martin Buber, Gershom Sholem, Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig - have, in Professor Cantor's view, made an effort which could compare to the attempts of Catholic theologians to meet the challenges of modernity. Cantor is throughout illuminating on Jewish historiography, and he frequently takes issue with its one-sided view of Jewish History. Thus Graetz is criticized for being "insensitive to the Christian side of the story". Writing about the Chmielnicki Massacres, Cantor comments, "the Ukranians had a right to resent the Jews, if not to kill them". A similar line is taken in explaining Tsarist policies with regard to the Jews between the 1820s and the 1860s: the rabbis and tsaddikim had after all done nothing to get the Jews "out of their stinking and impoverished domiciles and into an improved systemic situation." Some readers may be startled to have some received ideas challenged by the revisionist historians whom Cantor quotes. Some examples: the Maccabean War is better understood as a civil war between orthodox and Hellenized Jews than as a national uprising. Jewish historians have stressed how much Aquinas borrowed from Maimonides: here we read that "Maimonides' Guide is simply not comparable as an intellectual achievement with Aquinas's Summa Theologica." Contemporary scholarship drastically reduces the size of the Diaspora of the Sephardi Jews after 1492: so far from the traditional 150,000 Jews having had to leave, there were only some 80,000 professing Jews in Spain before 1492, and of these about half refused to convert and were therefore expelled. Coming to the present, Cantor is very critical of Israeli policy; and he thinks that much Catholic anti-Semitism in France, the United States and Canada (Quebec) stems from the unwise alliance between Jews and secular liberals against State funds going to religious schools. But it is Cantor's last chapter, on the Future of the Jews, which has drawn most criticism in reviews I have read. Like many others, he sees intermarriage as "a one-way ticket to disappearance as a distinct ethnic group" (leaving only the 15% or so of orthodox Jews unassimilated); and he suggests that the likely peace and economic cooperation in the Middle East will in due course lead to a similar cultural and ethnic blending between Jews and Arabs. (Any such prospect now looks remote indeed; but the book was first published in 1994, just after the end of the First Intifada and the signing of the first Oslo Accord). But whereas all religious and quite a number of non-religious Jews would regard this as a catastrophe, Cantor suggests that perhaps "the Jews have fulfilled their role in history... The Jews served their own purpose, and God's purpose, and mankind's purpose. Pragmatically, they are no longer very much needed as a distinct race." They have given so much to the world (from monotheism to shaping modernist and post-modernist culture) that "the Jewish heritage would endure if the Jews disappeared as a major group in the world in the twenty-first century." That disappearance could be avoided only by a revival of Jewish education on a scale and of a quality which he does not think will happen. It is impossible to do justice to this meaty and vigorous book in a short review; and I have concentrated on a few of those aspects which are unusual in Jewish writing. Whether you like it or dislike it, agree or disagree with it, this is a book which will make you think and anyone interested in the History of the Jews should read it. REVIEW: Sometimes insightful, sometimes infuriating, usually both. I found this book riveting and the personal, narrative style of Dr. Cantor's writing addictive. I'm no scholar so I can't criticize Dr. Cantor for misinterpreting the Caballah, or incorrectly tracing the lineage of Esther. While at times, this free-ranging book wanders into areas of opinion that don't seem entirely relevant to Jewish history, these wanderings were a very small price to pay to hear this powerful and deeply learned voice. REVIEW: SACRED CHAIN is a fun book to read for anyone interested in history, and especially the influence that religion and economics has had in it. The book is very well written and surprisingly lucid and easy to follow, not a single part of it was uninteresting. What "The Sacred Chain" represents is the pure, unmitigated view of establishment history. "The Sacred Chain" is intentionally biased, praised for it. Nonetheless it is well worth reading, because some of the massive influence of the Jews upon the West is cataloged and defined. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site and free insurance coverage). A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $9.99 to $37.99 for an insuredshipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." Condition: NEW (albeit faintly "shopworn". See detailed condition description below., Length: 472 pages, Dimensions: 9¾ x 6½ x 1½ inches; 1¾ pounds, Material: Paper, Provenance: Ancient Israel, Publisher: Harpercollins (1994), Title: The Sacred Chain: The History of the Jews, Format: Hardcover with dustjacket

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