Judaism, the author maintains, became the ""most literate and the most book-intoxicated of the world's great faiths."" The panoramic survey of the literature of Judaism, offered in the volume, goes far in substantiating this claim. From the five books of the Torah -- the first five books of the Bible -- a continuous extension of this literature develops, through the prophets, the Wisdom writings, the Law, on through the interpretative strata of the Mishnal, the Gemarah, and the Midrash. This extensive body of teaching and commentary was read not only by scholars and rabbinic leaders, but by whole congregations. Dispersed among the nations, without a nation of their own, the Jewish people found in their literature a ""country of the mind and spirit""; and every change in their faith and practice grew out of some part of that literature. The book brings to this material a perspective of historical development, ranging from the earliest writings to the tragic attempts of the Jewish leaders to apply these teachings to the problems raised by Nazi persecution. Scholarly in substance but readily understood because of its lucid style, this work should be a significant resource not only for the Jewish community but for others.