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Letters to Auntie Fori: 5,000 Years of Jewish History and their Faith Hardcover – 11 Apr 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 460 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 1st edition (11 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297607405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297607403
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 4.2 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 890,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Martin Gilbert will be giving a talk at Stern Hall on 27 June . We're expecting widespread reviews for this fantastic book and these are now starting to come in, with a great review by Malcolm Rifkind in New Statesman plus the following: "...a series of letters, 140 in all, outlining the history of the Jews from Old Testament times to the present and the principal rites and festivals of the Jewish religion. Taken together, along with some excellent maps, they form his new book... The tone is warm and conversational with frequent personal touches... he will have no truck with the idea that suffering is somehow the definition of the story. Instead he insists on resilience, recuperation, creative achievements and the long stretches of time when life just went onin the usual way."John Gross, Sunday Telegraph "An introduction as useful asany I know." The Guardian "As a literary device, the letter form works surprisingly well... Gilbert loves stories and tells them well... There are many Jewish histories, but this is the most engaging I have read." Jonathan Sacks, The Times "...this is a good introducation to the content of Jewish traditions and the history of the Jews from a point of view within that tradition."Robin Banerji, Daily Telegraph "This is the most delightful, engaging, slightly idiosyncratic accounts of Jews and Judaism that I have ever read." Julia Neube

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Author PR --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 July 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is a tour de force. In gripping English, Sir Martin Gilbert, the renowned Oxford historian, unfurls 5,000 years of Jewish history in 460 highly readable pages. In and of itself, this would be remarkable. Even more outstanding, is the Indian 'twist' to the story. I would recommend the book to anyone who would want to learn more about the Jewish history and religion. Attacking the most complex of subjects, Sir Martin somehow manages to transform history, ritual and text into lucid, comprehensible issues.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KitChat on 8 July 2006
Format: Paperback
I have recommended this book to many friends; from those who are interested in filling in the gaps in their knowledge of Jewish History, to those who know nothing at all about it, and even this very evening to a relative of 12 1/2 years old, about to embark on his Barmitzvah, as the easy way to find out about who we, the Jewish People, are. That, in fact, was the object of the exercise when Martin Gilbert wrote the letters to Auntie Fori, as she had left her Jewish background whilst still very young and married into Indian 'aristocracy' with all the lifestyle changes that entailed. In old age, Fori asked him to tell her about the Jewish People, so he told her in the form of letters. His weekly epistle contained just enough information to take on in a short read, and short enough to make you keen to move onto the next letter. The letter format to a fondly regarded friend makes the tone of the book very accessible, yet being by this author it is also learned and erudite but never pompous. It makes easy reading for people of all backgrounds as he never assumes that Fori knows anything about Judaism and explains everything clearly. At the end is a glossary of Jewish festivals and customs; useful as a reference, and as so many tie in with biblical history they are a natural progression. Because of The Old Testament and Mosaic Law, the Jews have had a written history longer than other peoples. Regardless of the spiritual content of The Bible, there is plenty of factual history to be found in the Pentateuch.

Having read of the trials and tribulations and challenges thrown at the Jews over the millennia, it won't surprise the reader that a resourceful and successful race was born out of hardship. Sometimes, just when you think it can't get any worse - it does, yet here we are to tell the tale. And what a tale it is.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This series of letters was written to explain the history of the Jewish Pele. It is an excellent read! Don't be put off by the size...it is an easy read but packed with information. A really good buy!!!!
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