One-stop shopping for tourists, graduate students, and Sunday school teachers seeking reliable historical information.

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THE OXFORD ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE HOLY LAND

A reference guide to the Holy Land offers up-to-date scholarship to a general readership.

Williamson (Emeritus, Hebrew/Oxford Univ.; He Has Shown You What is Good: Old Testament Justice Then and Now, 2012, etc.) and Hoyland (Late Antique and Early Islamic Middle Eastern History/New York Univ. Institute for the Study of the Ancient World; In God's Path: The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire, 2014, etc.) have assembled a series of essays about the so-called “Holy Land”—the editors explain their choice of that term in the thoughtful introduction. Most of the essays focus on a particular chronological slice, including the history of Israel, from its earliest moments through the fourth century B.C.E. Yale Divinity School professor John J. Collins overviews the Hellenistic and Roman periods, introducing several men who participated in resistance movements—e.g., Simon, a servant of King Herod whose friends and followers declared him king (he was beheaded). Men like Simon, writes Collins, provide important context for considering “the career of Jesus.” Collins concludes by correcting widespread assumptions about the rise of rabbinic Judaism. Ancient history professor Konstantin Klein shows how Christian clergymen and theologians of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries thought about the land of Jesus’ birth. Very early in the life of the church, influential writers discouraged Christians from traveling to Jerusalem, since “going to the Holy Land would involve stays in guest houses, inns, and taverns, generally perceived as hotbeds of sin.” But in time, clergymen began to self-consciously “promote” the idea of a “Christian Holy Land.” Other essays consider the history of Muslims in the Holy Land and the Crusades. The chronological survey ends in the early 20th century (the volume avoids controversies about the modern state of Israel), and three thematic essays—addressing pilgrimage, sacred space, and Scripture—round out the volume. Especially welcome is the discussion of Jewish and Muslim pilgrimage, which have generally received less attention than Christian pilgrimage.

One-stop shopping for tourists, graduate students, and Sunday school teachers seeking reliable historical information.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-19-872439-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A sleek, vital history that effectively shows how, “from the outset, inequality was enforced with the whip, the gun, and the...

AN AFRICAN AMERICAN AND LATINX HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

A concise, alternate history of the United States “about how people across the hemisphere wove together antislavery, anticolonial, pro-freedom, and pro-working-class movements against tremendous obstacles.”

In the latest in the publisher’s ReVisioning American History series, Ortiz (History/Univ. of Florida; Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920, 2005, etc.) examines U.S. history through the lens of African-American and Latinx activists. Much of the American history taught in schools is limited to white America, leaving out the impact of non-European immigrants and indigenous peoples. The author corrects that error in a thorough look at the debt of gratitude we owe to the Haitian Revolution, the Mexican War of Independence, and the Cuban War of Independence, all struggles that helped lead to social democracy. Ortiz shows the history of the workers for what it really was: a fatal intertwining of slavery, racial capitalism, and imperialism. He states that the American Revolution began as a war of independence and became a war to preserve slavery. Thus, slavery is the foundation of American prosperity. With the end of slavery, imperialist America exported segregation laws and labor discrimination abroad. As we moved into Cuba, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico, we stole their land for American corporations and used the Army to enforce draconian labor laws. This continued in the South and in California. The rise of agriculture could not have succeeded without cheap labor. Mexican workers were often preferred because, if they demanded rights, they could just be deported. Convict labor worked even better. The author points out the only way success has been gained is by organizing; a great example was the “Day without Immigrants” in 2006. Of course, as Ortiz rightly notes, much more work is necessary, especially since Jim Crow and Juan Crow are resurging as each political gain is met with “legal” countermeasures.

A sleek, vital history that effectively shows how, “from the outset, inequality was enforced with the whip, the gun, and the United States Constitution.”

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8070-1310-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Beacon

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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