The Gifts of the Jews : How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels, Paperback Book

The Gifts of the Jews : How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels Paperback

Part of the Hinges of History S. series

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


In "The Gifts of the Jews", Thomas Cahill reveals the critical change that made Western civilisation possible.

Within the matrix of ancient religions and philosophies, life was seen as an endless cycle of birth and death; time was like a wheel, spinning irrevocably until ancient Jews began to see time differently, as a narrative whose triumphant conclusion would come in the future.

From this insight came a new concept of men and women as individuals with unique destinies, and our hopeful belief in progress and the sense that tomorrow can be better than today.

Full of compelling stories, insights, and humour, this book is an irresistible exploration of the origins of some of our oldest and most closely held beliefs.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304 pages, map
  • Publisher: Lion Hudson Plc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Non-Western philosophy
  • ISBN: 9780745950549

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I enjoyed this book marginally more than The Everlasting Hills. I really like the insight on the history of the Jews and the humanity he injects into the characters. What I have a hard time understanding is twofold. First he claims that without the Jews many of our modern cultures/thought processes would not have occurred;i.e. Democracy, Capitalism, Psychology, Civil Rights Movement, Egocentrism, etc. Secondly he states that there is no way that the Bible is the inspired word of God and the God mentioned in the Bible is not one worthy of worship, and yet he believes whole heartedly in that God stating that God inspired the evolution of the culture and the events that happened, just not the writing. But how did he discover said God, through the writing! Anyways both books, although I had problems with them I was able to glean some interesting information and I recommend reading them.