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The Jews of Khazaria 2 , Formato Kindle
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|Lunghezza: 315 pagine||Lingua: Inglese|
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I wanted to learn more about the remarkable empire that was Khazaria, and this book did an excellent job. As a bonus, I enjoyed the detailed history of the Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. I had no idea there were so many enclaves!
My only complaint is that the book starts off a little slow. You have to get thru the first chapter or two, but then it seems to take off like a rocket. I couldn't put it down after that.
Brook, a layman himself (albeit a lay expert), has meticulously collected thousands of tidbits of historical knowledge and lore from a myriad of primary and secondary sources
Brook's first edition (published by Jason Aaronson in 1999) was a masterpiece in and of itself, but it was flawed by the certainty of certain controversial assertions (such as that the conversion of the Khazars took place in 861) which have, over the course of only a few years, become outdated by dramatic new discoveries in numismatics and archaeology. This second edition of Brook's magnum opus corrects many errors and also includes information on new discoveries, organized into convenient, intuitive and well-cited sections (including "The Origins of the Khazars", "The Khazars' Conversion to Judaism", and "Relations between the Khazars and other People".)
Khazar history is brought to life through discussions of trade, religion, daily life, language, and many other issues. Anyone interested in Jewish, Eastern European or Eurasian history, or anyone who fancies themselves a polymath, would be remiss if they failed to purchase and read this book.
Anyway, the book gives a thorough description of the Khazars from their pre-Jewish origins as a Turkic people, through the conversion, and the building of, and subsequent decline of the Khazarian empire, which included a diaspora of Khazarian Jews into Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Brook finishes with a discussion of whether or not the Khazars are the ancestors of the modern day Ashkenazi Jews. So, this might not be the most compelling read, but if you're looking to learn about the Khazars, you don't have much choice! Four stars.
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