Conflict Over Israeli Bestseller

The NYT reviews a book that has been a best seller in Israel and France and was recently released in English here and in the UK, where it has sparked heated debate. In The Invention of the Jewish People, by Shlomo Sand, a professor at Tel Aviv University, says the NYT, “resurrects a theory first raised by 19th-century historians, that the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe, to whom 90 percent of American Jews trace their roots, are descended from the Khazars, a Turkic people who apparently converted to Judaism…”

The NYT quotes Michael Terry, head of NYPL’s Jewish Division, who says experts have since discredited this theory.

The historian Simon Schama recently reviewed the book in the Financial Times, saying it “…relies on twists of historical logic and strategic evasions of modern research.”

It appears that it was not reviewed prepub; few libraries own it.

The Invention of the Jewish People
Shlomo Sand
Retail Price: $34.95
Hardcover: 332 pages
Publisher: Verso – (2009-10-19)
ISBN / EAN: 1844674223 / 9781844674220

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