Bible and Sword: England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour

By Barbara W. Tuchman
Read by Wanda McCaddon

12.55 Hours 11/01/2009 unabridged
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Two-time Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Barbara Tuchman explores the complex relationship of Britain to Palestine that led to the founding of the modern Jewish state—and to many of the problems that plague the Middle East today. From early times the British people have been drawn to the Holy Land through two major influences: the translation of the Bible into English and, later, the imperial need to control the road to India and access to the oil in the Middle East. Under these influences, one cultural and the other political, countless Englishmen—pilgrims, crusaders, missionaries, merchants, explorers, and surveyors—have made their way to the land of the ancient Hebrews. With the lucidity and vividness that characterizes her work, Barbara Tuchman brings to life the development of these twin motives—the Bible and the sword—in the consciousness of the British people. They were finally brought together at the end of World War I, when Britain’s conquest of Palestine from the Turks and the solemn moment of entering Jerusalem were imminent. Requiring a gesture of matching significance, that event evoked the Balfour Declaration of 1917—establishing a British-sponsored national home for the modern survivors of the people of the Old Testament. In her account, first published in 1956, Ms. Tuchman demonstrates that the seeds of today’s troubles in the Middle East were planted long before the first efforts at founding a modern state of Israel.

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Summary

Summary

Two-time Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Barbara Tuchman explores the complex relationship of Britain to Palestine that led to the founding of the modern Jewish state—and to many of the problems that plague the Middle East today.

From early times the British people have been drawn to the Holy Land through two major influences: the translation of the Bible into English and, later, the imperial need to control the road to India and access to the oil in the Middle East. Under these influences, one cultural and the other political, countless Englishmen—pilgrims, crusaders, missionaries, merchants, explorers, and surveyors—have made their way to the land of the ancient Hebrews.

With the lucidity and vividness that characterizes her work, Barbara Tuchman brings to life the development of these twin motives—the Bible and the sword—in the consciousness of the British people. They were finally brought together at the end of World War I, when Britain’s conquest of Palestine from the Turks and the solemn moment of entering Jerusalem were imminent. Requiring a gesture of matching significance, that event evoked the Balfour Declaration of 1917—establishing a British-sponsored national home for the modern survivors of the people of the Old Testament.

In her account, first published in 1956, Ms. Tuchman demonstrates that the seeds of today’s troubles in the Middle East were planted long before the first efforts at founding a modern state of Israel.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“In her métier as a narrative popular historical writer, Barbara Tuchman is supreme.” Chicago Sun-Times
“Barbara Tuchman is a wise and witty writer, a shrewd observer with a lively command of high drama.” Philadelphia Inquirer
“An interesting appraisal of the various religious and political interests which historically have influenced the British attitude toward Palestine.” Foreign Affairs
“This book is outstanding for its historical grasp and originality...A provocative piece of research and interpretation.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Barbara W. Tuchman

Barbara W. Tuchman (1912–1989), American historian, was born in New York City and graduated from Radcliffe College in 1933. A self-trained historian, she was a writer for the Nation and an editor for the US Office of War Information. In her later years she was a lecturer at Harvard and the US Naval War College. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1963 for The Guns of August and in 1972 for Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911–45. She was awarded the 1978 Gold Medal for History from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 12.55
Audience: Adult
Language: English