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An essential exploration of a rich literary tradition from the Bible to modern times, by a "rare literary authority" (New York Times Book Review) .

Jews have long embraced their identity as "the people of the book." But outside of the Bible, much of the Jewish literary tradition remains little known. The People and the Books shows how central questions and themes of our history and culture are reflected in the Jewish literary canon: the nature of God, the right way to understand the Bible, the relationship of the Jews to their Promised Land, and the challenges of living as a minority in Diaspora. Adam Kirsch explores eighteen classic texts including the biblical books of Deuteronomy and Esther, the philosophy of Maimonides, the autobiography of the medieval businesswoman Gluckel of Hameln, and the Zionist manifestos of Theodor Herzl. From the Jews of ancient Rome to the mystical devotees of Hasidism in eastern Europe, The People and the Books brings the treasures of Jewish literature to life and offers new ways to think about their enduring power and influence.



About the Author

Adam Kirsch

is the author of two collections of poems and several books of poetry criticism. A senior editor at the and a columnist for , he also writes for and the . He lives in New York City with his wife and son.



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