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

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

byThomas Cahill

Kobo ebook | April 28, 2010

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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.

BONUS MATERIAL: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Thomas Cahill's Heretics and Heroes.
Thomas Cahill is the author of a series of books detailing turning points in Western civilization and the impact of various cultural heritages. These books include How the Irish Save Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of the Roman Empire to the Rise of Medieval Europe and The Gift of the Jews: How a T...
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Title:The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and FeelsFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:April 28, 2010Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307755118

ISBN - 13:9780307755117

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Exposing roots Why is 'Western' culture so alien to that of most others in the world? In a conceptual rather than detailed treatise, Cahill explains how a small band of people departed from their neighbours by revising their view of the universe and themselves. This feat was accomplished by viewing time as linear instead of cyclical, introducing monotheism to replace a pantheon of deities, and enhancement of individuality. Stressing the novelty of these ideas, Cahill presents them in a delightfully readable format. Although using Sumerian writings to provide the foundation for the innovations the Jews instituted, Gifts isn't a study in comparative religion. It makes no attempt to contrast Judaism with either Christianity or Islam, not to mention more natural faiths. Nor is there any attempt to review the longterm impact of the Jews' new outlook. Still, anyone not a religious scholar will benefit from Gifts. As with his book on the Irish, poetry plays an important role in supporting his objectives. Cahill's fine presentation makes Gifts worth a place in anyone's shelves. The downside is that you'd better be prepared to buy all seven of the series.
Date published: 2000-03-12