• Jews, God, and History

  • By: Max I. Dimont
  • Narrated by: Anna Fields
  • Length: 17 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (206 ratings)

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Jews, God, and History

By: Max I. Dimont
Narrated by: Anna Fields
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Publisher's Summary

Vitality floods its pages. Philosophers and kings, warriors and merchants, poets and financiers come alive as the story ranges across time and the globe. From ancient Palestine through Europe and the Orient, to America and modern Israel, Max Dimont shows how the saga of the Jews is interwoven with the history of virtually every nation on earth.

Brilliantly narrated in 1,001 episodes, this newly revised and updated edition tells the story of a people escaping annihilation and cultural death, fighting, falling back, advancing. Infused with an almost miraculous life force, they have survived the death of civilizations and have triumphantly contributed to man's spiritual and intellectual heritage for some four thousand years.

©1994 Ethel Dimont (P)1997 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

“Unquestionably the best popular history of the Jews written in the English language.” ( Los Angeles Times)
“Successfully captures the history of the Jewish experience. A useful addition to most collections.” ( Library Journal)

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What listeners say about Jews, God, and History

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Grand in scope and depth

To begin, it's really amazing that such a book even CAN be written. The years of work, research, examination and detailing are mind-boggling. This book, quite literally, retells known human history, but from the point of view of the Jewish people. We move through the empires in Greece and Rome before their collapse, the beginnings and continuation of feudalism, the creation of new states and the emergences of the modern world. We have read in texts and books for years these stories, but here they are again, wholly new and re-examined, from the point of view of a small band of people, constantly in danger, who have had a completely disproportionate effect on history.

We see how they formed into a people, how they wrote their laws, how they battled against unbelievable odds and how they generated some of the greatest breakthroughs in history. Of particular interest to me was the Middle Ages, a time when Europe was wholly in control of the monarchs and the church, neither of which allowed their serfs to own businesses, handle money, or affect the day to day operations of civilizations. Someone had to do it. So the Jews stepped in and kept these nations from completely collapsing. Then one nation would chase them out, begin to crumble and beg for them to return. During this time you see the new writings and the study of the old maintain a people without a home.

That said, this is a history book, not a particularly Jewish one. It's somewhat dry at times and the narrator is good, but not enrapturing. That said, it's a great, sweeping, new way to look at history and it makes certain idiosyncrasies, ironies and confusions of history start to make so much more sense. At the same time, it's an adventure story of survival against all odds. This is a fun book, and I definitely recommend it.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Rest for the Heavy Laden.

A very factual, informative narative of the saga of a "Chosen People" who simply refuse to go away -- into oblivium. Centuries of hopes dashing against disappointing shoals of exile and persecution has not dimmed the will and tenacity for the survival of such a remarkable People. This book makes me want to stand up and cheer for the Jew and also desire to emulate their collective indomitable will that yearns for fairness in the game of existence in which the cards seem to be stacked against them. You will finish this book with a tear, a prayer and a hope that the Jew would someday find his Messiah Who would lighten his heavy load and grant him a well deserved rest for his weary soul.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

FANTASTIC

ANY PERSON WHO IS SEEKING TO UNDERSTAND THE JEWISH IMPACT ON THE WORLD, THIS IS A MUST READ! QUITE FRANKLY, ANY PERSON DESIRING TO UNDERSTAND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE! READ THIS BOOK, READ THIS BOOK. KIND OF LABOROUS, BUT ONCE YOU GET INTO IT, IT IS HARD TO PUT DOWN.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Valuable, though somewhat dated

What did you like best about Jews, God, and History? What did you like least?

I liked the sweep of the narrative, plus many details along the way were fascinating. But just because of the sweep, everything is pretty shallow in the treatment.

Would you recommend Jews, God, and History to your friends? Why or why not?

I would recommend it to learn especially about some of the great figures in the intellectual history of Judaism--Spinoza, Mendelssohn, Maimonides, etc.

Would you be willing to try another one of Anna Fields’s performances?

Under no circumstances would I listen to Anna Fields read a book. Her sing song rhythm and sarcasm drove me crazy.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I looked forward to my daily commute to work.

What a marvelous story! How can anyone doubt the existence of God, when He has given us living proof through His chosen people, the Jews. This book is very well written and I enjoyed listening the narrator. Look forward to commuting to work, even in So. California traffic. Definitely worth a re-listen.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great 4,000 year history

none of that Sunday school can't here. Dumont tells it exactly as he sees it and with a novelist's sense of the telling detail detail and metaphor.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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inspirational historical culture

I enjoyed reading this book. It inspires me to keep believing and searching for peace.

2 people found this helpful

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More like an long op-ed than a history

Outdated, amateur attempt at writing history that comes off as a long opinion piece with little basis in facts or research. Dimont's book is ridiculously bad.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great but not very accurate on Christian portrayal

Would you consider the audio edition of Jews, God, and History to be better than the print version?

I think it's better than print, but that's just me.

What did you like best about this story?

I like how the author tracks Gentile history along side Jewish history. Amazing history lesson here. Also the close tracking Century by Century.

Which character – as performed by Anna Fields – was your favorite?

None in particular

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I like taking audio books in pieces.

Any additional comments?

I thought it was really good if you are interested in the Jews, which I am. But I didn't get the feeling the author knew a lot about Christ or Christian doctrine. I found the interpretation of the New Testament lacking in detail and not quite accurate. Besides that though all the parts on the Jews was well researched and accurate I feel.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A great book but dated

Overall this is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn about Jewish history. In particular, Dimont is to be praised for not just focusing on Jewish suffering but also on Jewish accomplishments and for firmly placing the Jewish experience in its historical context.

My reservations about the book are as follows -
1. It focuses almost entirely on European Jews with some discussion of the Middle East. I would have liked more information about the latter after the Bar Kochba Revolt. Also, I would have liked some discussion of Jews in East Asia. Africa and India.

2. The author uses the term "Mohammedan", which is archaic and to my knowledge, also a bit offensive to Muslims. Since the book was revised in 1994 this should have been corrected.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Spider Sorcerer
  • 08-19-22

Great Starting Point on Jewish History

I really enjoyed this audio book. I found the style engaging and easy to relate to.

I realised I knew little about Jewish history and wanted to learn more - this provided an excellent overview from 4,000 years ago until the early 1990s.

I particularly liked how each section starts with a timeline of what was happening in the dominant civilisation of the period, followed by key events in Jewish history alongside this. Not only did this help with context for someone relatively unfamiliar with Jewish history, but I actually learned about wider historical events too.

Overall the book is balanced and objective, allowing the reader to choose between religious and non-religious explanations, and discussing the wider context within which events occurred - for example discussing conditions for other groups of people alongside Jews.

The only slight niggle is the author does on occasion allow his own subjective opinions to push to the surface, but that's totally understandable.

(Also there are dated views, and terms which would today be considered offensive towards non-Jewish groups, but that's nor surprising as it is an older book.)

The narrator is fantastic.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this if you want an overview. I'm now off to find other books that go in to particular aspects of Jewish history in greater detail.

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  • C
  • 05-24-22

Jews God and History

Loved the three combinations of God intricately working with the Jews and other nations creating a rich history.
excellent listen...well read.