• "A magnificent achievement… [a] parade of bustlingly vital characters from across the globe ... all painted in luminous colour… By offering such a throbbing cavalcade of characters, Schama is defying several key assumptions, even stereotypes, about Jewish history and Jews themselves… Above all, while much Jewish history can read like a sorrowful trudge through disaster, plague and pogrom, Schama’s book teems with life rather than death"

    Jonathan Freedland, Guardian
  • "Magisterial ... the product of a world-class historian at the peak of his creative powers … rich, ornate, intensely evocative and sensory. With astonishing range and extraordinary synthesising powers, Schama captures the drama of Jewish history."

    Financial Times
  • "A rich melody that soars above the ground bass of prejudice and persecution … Schama has made himself the leading virtuoso of our time. This second volume of this trilogy is an affirmation of faith in the grand narrative … Its familiar and familial tone proclaims the author’s unapologetic mission to play his part in the story of the Jews by bringing their history alive… [A] glittering gemstone of a book"

    Daniel Johnson, The Times
  • "So beautifully written it regularly takes your breath away, it is a book far greater than the sum of its parts. Daunted by its colossal size, I started reading with some trepidation; I finished filled with wonder and delight."

    Abigail Green, Times Literary Supplement
  • "An extraordinary cultural journey, filled with astonishingly colourful and outrageous characters … Schama delivers a superb and thrilling ride, both inspirational and tragic."

    Simon Sebag Montefiore, Mail on Sunday