Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize
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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A wide ranging history of the Jewish people.
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