Learn more Download now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Learn more Learn more Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more



on 1 February 2014
If you haven't already, by the end of this series how could you not give the Jews one of the greatest stations in human history. While the tribes & people's of the earth have moved, settled & renamed or been renamed many times over throughout history, no matter where a Jew stands in time his home was & will be always be Israel. Schama has done exceedingly well to communicate this & tried to give due time to cover each stage of history he presents, and while I would have loved to have dug deeper into Israel's ancient history more so, the Jews of Elephantine give us wonderful key hole look into such divergent lives. Some of this will not be new to you perhaps, but most I predict will, for I do not think anyone has as thoughtfully rolled such history into such a TV series before, it left me wanting more.......but of course the story of the Jews continues today doesn't it?
29 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 28 November 2016
I bought this documentary thinking it was called "The History of the Jews" and I watched it through to the end thinking as such. It was only when I started typing this review that I realised it was called "The Story of the Jews"! And now the content of the documentary make a lot more sense. Its title is pretty apt but a better one liner summary is probably: "The Case for Israel, written and presented by Simon Schama". Don't get me wrong though: this is a good documentary and definitely worth the watch. If you want to understand why the existence of present-day Israel is so important for many Jewish persons then this is definitely a good documentary to watch. You'll find that modern history is given way more mention than the origins of Judaism so bear that in mind. And there were some strange points made in there in passing like "Judaism was the first monotheistic religion" and "Judaism invented the abstract God" but that was good food for thought.
3 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 10 May 2014
In inviting us into his own home for the Passover, Simon Schama opens up a world I suspect most non-Jews have never seen. He takes the viewer on a personal journey to explore the rich, tragic, triumphant history of the Jewish people, a journey in which you are invited to share the tears, the laughter and the joy. Why did the Shephardic version of Judaism give way to Askenazi practice? What is the Askenazi version? Where did the Ghetto arise - and why did the Ottoman Sultan invite and encourage Jewish settlers in his empire after they were expelled from Spain and other parts of Europe. Scharma answers these question and a few more with typical Jewish humour mixed with sadness and awareness that today's tolerance can quickly become tomorrows pogrom. As he says, the natural mindset of a Jew is 'paranoia confirmed by history'.

This series is wonderfully written, sensitively presented and beautifully filmed. I commend it highly to everyone, but especially to teachers of history. To understand our own history, you have to understand this ...
8 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 12 June 2014
Perhaps, I was expecting more of a History than a Story of the Jews. And while Schama does relay the history of the Jews, you tend to find that the history is more commentated on the modern history as opposed to the genesis and the early years of the Jews. There are segments where the story focuses more from a larger scale to an individual scale as snippets of tales are told of famous Jews like Freud, Spinoza, Mayer - of the MGM movie studio fame - and also Moses Mendelssohn.

Of course, no story of the Jews would be complete without the telling of the tale of the Holocaust and the fight of the Jews to claim a piece of "their promised land" which is modern day Israel.

Overall, this wasn't a bad series, but somehow I felt that Schama never really let the audience get deep into the psyche of the religion.
4 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 6 November 2013
I bought this as a gift, not yet given, but did so having seen it on T.V. and been absolutely transported by it. Transported back through the ages; transported with emotion, and a deeper understanding of what I'd thought I already knew pretty thoroughly.

Schama's particular brilliance lies in his ability to take you back and place you in situations that turn you into an observer, rather than just a listener to, or viewer or reader of history. He has brought new insight to a many-millennia-old story, that left me deeply moved for a long time. He has always been a good and interesting historian, but in this series I believe he excelled himself.
3 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 4 May 2018
A 'must have' for anyone interested in world history and the role of religion therein.....
Evidence of meticulous research and a broad minded approach
Simon Schama always delivers in an entertaining and charismatic style
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 10 November 2017
Informative with good production. Enjoyed it very much
2 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 26 December 2017
A good book to start an understanding but don't stop here!
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 6 November 2013
There was quite a lot to be learned from this series - too much to take in at one viewing which is why I bought the video. Stretching over a very long history it filled in gaps in my knowledge and seemed to highlight an important word -"assimilation". Was this good or bad? I have my own viewpoint - other people can form there's.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 18 December 2014
A wonderful piece of work. Simon Schama is Jewish and is also a very fine historian and presenter. This story is told with great detail and tremendous passion. As a story of human cruelty and stupidity as well as one of courage and resilience it is spellbinding.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)