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In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands Hardcover – Aug 24 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart; First Edition edition (Aug. 24 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771033699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771033698
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 3.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #323,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"This is a book for those who want on their shelf, ready to hand, the facts on the Jews in Muslim lands, from the days of Mohammad himself, a vivid chapter as related here, to the Arab-Israel conflict of the present day. With Sir Martin Gilbert's excellent maps and clear readable prose, this saga is both a reliable source and a pleasure to read."
— Herman Wouk

"In this epic examination, celebrated historian Gilbert (the six-volume biography of Winston Churchill) explores the evolution of Judaism and Islam. . . . .with a comprehensive yet accessible approach." 
— Publishers Weekly

"Sir Martin Gilbert's In Ishmael's House, perhaps for the first time, makes accessible to a mass readership the neglected history of Jews in Muslim lands, from Afghanistan to Morocco." 
— The JC.com

"[This book's] account of the slow-burning tragedy of the extinction of Jewish communities in the Arab world is moving and important. It should be read." 
— The Independent

About the Author

SIR MARTIN GILBERT is the author of eighty-two books. He is Winston Churchill's official biographer and a leading historian of the modern world. In 1995 he was knighted "for services to British history and international relations," and in 1999 he was awarded a Doctorate of Literature by the University of Oxford for the totality of his published work. In 2009 he was made a Privy Councillor (as The Rt. Hon. Sir Martin Gilbert) and a member of the British Government's Iraq War Inquiry. He lives in London, England, with his wife Esther.

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Customer Reviews

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Reuven on Dec 16 2010
Format: Hardcover
This historical view of the Jews living amoungst muslim is written fantastically well. I couldn't put the book down. The history of these Jews is not well known and very rarely covered so accurately. We are given an overview of Jewish life in syria, morrocco, egypt and yemen all in relation to the changes in world history such as the holocaust and the formation of the state of Israel. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know why all Jews of Muslim lands eventually felt the need to migrate to israel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Anderson TOP 50 REVIEWER on March 20 2012
Format: Hardcover
Anything Sir Martin Gilbert writes is worth reading and this book is no exception.

This a well written, well researched and well balanced history of the treatment of Jewish communities in Muslim countries. It shows there were periods of toleration and protection of Jews by Muslim rulers, albeit under dhimmi status, amid more numerous periods of persecution and repression.

One interesting historical trend well illustrated in the book is how the rise of Zionism in the 19th century brought about increased persecution of Jews in Muslim countries. Following the creation of Israel in 1948 Jews were essentially harassed into leaving many Muslim countries, ususally having to forfeit their money and property when they left. Jewish communities that had existed for millenia in countries like Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Yemen, among others, disintegrated as Jews fled to Israel, Europe and North America to escape the persecution in these countries.

In short, this is a very interesting book. After reading this I can say with certainty that I would not want to be a Jew, or a Christian, living in a Muslim country.
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By Raymond Gork on May 16 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent, well-researched, well--written. A must-read for anyone seriously interested in Middle East history. I will certainly recommend this book to my friends and associates.
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By David M. Goldberg TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 12 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am well aware of the author's formidable reputation, although I have never before read any of his 82 books. To be blunt, I am not greatly tempted to read much more of his work after ploughing my way through the present text. It may be aberrantly unrepresentative of the author's usual style, but it is badly written and suffers from organizational problems that a competent editor should have detected and corrected. To begin with, the facts are not in dispute, as they are tediously referenced to the point of satisfying the most stringent PhD examination committee. Nor is the author's balance of judgement impeachable; nothing in the narrative would support the slightest charge of bias despite his proud relationship to the guests in Ishmael's abode. It is a work of immense scholarship, but one cannot escape the feeling that it is written by scholars for scholars. I use the plural for authorship with some conjecture, but there is nothing abnormal in a major academic figure using the efforts of students and trainees in data-gathering, and it is inconceivable that anyone could write 82 books on profound historical topics without such assistance. What strikes me is that information from many sources has been patched together to create the whole. Nothing wrong with that, as long as the stitching doesn't spoil the integrated appearance, but alas, that is precisely what has happened here, and Sir Martin must assume responsibility for this unfortunate outcome. This has resulted in unexpected reappearance of the same or similar passages in later chapters. The information presented at the end of one is sometimes repeated at the beginning of the next, as if the two were the texts of different lectures on different days, and the audience (or reader) requires reinforcement.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book. Excellent information.
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