Belonging is a magnificent cultural history abundantly alive with energy, character and colour. It spans centuries and continents; from the Jews' expulsion from Spain in 1492, it navigates miracles and massacres, wandering, discrimination, harmony and tolerance, to the brink of the 20th century and, it seems, a point of profound hope.
It tells the stories not just of rabbis and philosophers but of a poetess in the ghetto of Venice; a boxer in Georgian England; a general in Ming China; and an opera composer in 19th-century Germany. The story unfolds in Kerala and Mantua, the starlit hills of Galilee, the rivers of Colombia, the kitchens of Istanbul, the taverns of Ukraine and the mining camps of California. It sails in caravels, rides the stage coaches and the railways, trudges the dawn streets of London and hobbles along with the remnant of Napoleon's ruined army.
Through Schama's passionate telling of this second chronicle in an epic tale, a history emerges of the Jewish people that feels it is the story of everyone, of humanity.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Dorota Kotowicz on 01-03-18
Beautiful informative read
Simon Schama can add detail and colour to the historical events in a way that makes the people from the past jump out of the pages of the book sit with you at the table recounting their lives. As a narrator he does not impose himself and seems relally to be driven mainly by the need to understand and know. I loved this book and i regret it is over....The second part was however for me atleast read be tter than the first....
7 of 8 people found this review helpful