The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels

The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels

An enchanting journey into history, recreating a time when the actions of a small band of people had repercussions that are still felt today.

The author of the runaway bestseller How the Irish Saved Civilization has done it again. In The Gifts of the Jews Thomas Cahill takes us on another enchanting journey into history, once again recreating a time when the actions of a small band of people had repercussions that are still felt today.

The Gifts of the Jews reveals the critical change that made western civilization possible. Within the matrix of ancient religions and philosophies, life was seen as part of an endless cycle of birth and death; time was like a wheel, spinning ceaselessly. Yet somehow, the ancient Jews began to see time differently. For them, time had a beginning and an end; it was a narrative, whose triumphant conclusion would come in the future. From this insight came a new conception of men and women as individuals with unique destinies--a conception that would inform the Declaration of Independence--and our hopeful belief in progress and the sense that tomorrow can be better than today. As Thomas Cahill narrates this momentous shift, he also explains the real significance of such Biblical figures as Abraham and Sarah, Moses and the Pharaoh, Joshua, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.

Full of compelling stories, insights and humor, The Gifts of the Jews is an irresistible exploration of history as fascinating and fun as How the Irish Saved Civilization.

Title:The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780745950549
Format Type:

    The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels Reviews

  • Rick Ludwig

    This is an excellent book and harmonizes well with the other two Cahill's that I have read, "How the Irish Saved Civilization" and "Desire of the Everlasting Hills". The last twelve pages in the book ...

  • Michael Mills

    First, I think Cahill writes like no other. His sentences are clean and lucid and his prose simply makes you want to keep reading. This book is about the origins of the people of Israel, but it is not...

  • Michelle

    Now I know why Cahill's book on the Irish was so difficult to follow at times. I thought it was just me and my lack of a concept of that particular history. After reading this book I am pretty sure it...

  • Nick

    Thomas Cahill is highly readable. I loved How the Irish Saved Civilization. This second volume in his The Hinges of History series is a mixed bag for me. First of all, I appreciate that Cahill is appr...

  • Jim

    Cahill tells us about all that we owe to the Jews, which is basically Western Civilization. In an engaging style, he relates a history that takes us from Abraham's departure from Ur to the Jews' retur...

  • Shenek

    Obviously I was not the right person to read this book. I thought it would be fascinating to see the world of the Old Testament put into the context of reality. Instead I was irritated by the author. ...

  • Elise

    This book, as did all the books in the Hinges of History series, made my God so much bigger! When I read it I realized how much the moral/relational failures particularly in the Old Testament were a p...

  • Renee

    Read this while flying across the continent on a recent trip. Fascinating. I love books that put the Bible stories I grew up with in context. Having read the Bible since I was a child I have often app...

  • Kathleen

    This is book #2 in the Hinges of History series. In The Gift of the Jews, Cahill argues that the Hebrew people introduced critically important concepts to Western Civilization -- and eventually to the...

  • Heather

    I was... less than thrilled with this book. I've read others like it (How the Irish Saved Civilization & How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation ...