The Jews are a fascinating people, both to themselves and to everyone else. The Jews are a paradigm of what will happen to most nations and ethnic groups with a long-run exposure to urban global culture. They are an irresistibly global people, a vanguard for the global world. This book dramatizes the transformation of the Jews from a nation dominated by religion to a people overwhelmingly secularized. It is especially interesting because it finds the major contribution of the Jews not in ancient prophets but in modern atheistic intellectuals. In reaction to the Religious Right and Muslim fundamentalism, there is a widespread interest in atheism and secularism. The story of the Jews is a dramatic example of the success of secularism. The militancy of a revived Jewish Orthodoxy is a tribute to this success. For the skeptics of the Biblical and traditional story of the Jews, and they are legion, this book is a compelling and easily readable alternative history, the culmination of a lifetime of study and insight by one of the most provocative rabbis in Jewish history.
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