Farewell Espana: The World of the Sephardim Remembered

Overview

From the late fifteenth century onward, in exile from their Spanish and Portuguese homelands, the Sephardim made their mark as viziers and intimate advisers of Ottoman sultans, as vastly esteemed physicians of Renaissance dukes and popes, and as dynamic importers and exporters in the Dutch maritime traffic. Whether as professing Jews or converted "New Christians," it was this protean minority that functioned as a self-contained international trading network, spanning the seas and oceans, pioneering the gem ...
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Farewell Espana: The World of the Sephardim Remembered

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Overview

From the late fifteenth century onward, in exile from their Spanish and Portuguese homelands, the Sephardim made their mark as viziers and intimate advisers of Ottoman sultans, as vastly esteemed physicians of Renaissance dukes and popes, and as dynamic importers and exporters in the Dutch maritime traffic. Whether as professing Jews or converted "New Christians," it was this protean minority that functioned as a self-contained international trading network, spanning the seas and oceans, pioneering the gem industry of Europe and the sugar and tobacco plantations of Brazil, and flourishing as merchant ship captains amid pirate-infested Caribbean waterways. Farewell Espana transcends conventional historical narrative. With the lucidity and verve that have characterized his numerous earlier volumes, Howard Sachar breathes life into the leading dramatis personae of the Sephardic world. In its breadth and richness of texture, Sachar's account sweeps to the contemporary era of Mussolini, Hitler, and Franco, poignantly traces the fate of Balkan Sephardic communities during the Holocaust - and their revival in the Land and State of Israel. Not least of all, the author offers a tactile dimension of immediacy in his personal encounters with the storied venues and current personalities of the Sephardic world.

In Farewell Espana, Howard Sachar opens a window on a glowing civilization once nearly extinguished. With verve and clarity, Sachar tells the story of the Iberian Jews--the doyens of Jewish history--in medieval Spain through their harassment, expulsion, and dispersion to new lives in Western Europe, the Balkans, Turkey, the Americas, and Israel.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sachar's epic history of the Jews of Spain and Portugal, begins before their expulsion from Spain in 1492 and continues through to the Sephardim in Israel. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Sachar A History of the Jews in America, LJ 7/92 has written a history of the Sephardim Iberian Jews that illuminates the personalities and achievements of those doyens of the Jewish world. The Sephardim were an important element of Moorish society, serving as artisans, doctors, and government employees. During the period of Christian reconquest, they found new vocations as intermediaries between the Islamic and Christian worlds, often translating legacies of the Islamic world as well as classical works unknown to the Christian West. The year 1492 saw the conquest of Grenada, the voyage of Columbus, and the expulsion of the Sephardim from Spain. The sultan of Turkey lost no time in welcoming large numbers of this productive community to his domain. Sachar traces the history of this tragic diaspora from Turkey to Brazil. Recommended for academic libraries and public libraries with strong reader interest in this area.-Robert J. Andrews, Duluth P.L., Minn.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679738466
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/3/1995
  • Series: Vintage Series
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 731,587
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Based in Washington, D.C., where he is Charles E. Smith Professor of History at George Washington University, Howard Morley Sachar lectures extensively throughout the United States and abroad.
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