Quick book review: Michael Brenner, A Short History of the Jews

A Short History of the JewsA Short History of the Jews by Michael Brenner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a wide-ranging book that tried to include the history of Jewish communities around the world. This meant, of course, that it had to be pretty general, especially before the modern period. Since I teach Western Civilization and Middle Eastern history courses, this book provided what I needed: a general overview of Jewish history that helped me know more background for the Jewish communities that are so important in Western and Middle Eastern civilizations. It left me with a lot of questions about pre-modern Jewish history that I would like to pursue.

It’s a visually beautiful book, with every chapter beginning with an image from a Haggadah, a set of Passover readings and some other high-quality pictures in the chapters. Unfortunately, Brenner doesn’t
seem to believe any Biblical history before King Josiah.

View all my reviews


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