Bible and Sword

  • by Barbara W. Tuchman
  • Narrated by Wanda McCaddon
  • 12 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's 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, until 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.


What the Critics Say

"Barbara Tuchman is a wise and witty writer, a shrewd observer with a lively command of high drama." (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"In her m├ętier as a narrative popular historical writer, Barbara Tuchman is supreme." (Chicago Sun-Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent book, but not quite objective

As usual, Barbara Tuchman offers up a well-written, heavily researched book that is entertaining and informative, but I found the lack of objectivity in places so strong that it made me question her grasp of the subject matter. I get it that she doesn't subscribe to the Judeo-Christian tradition as a personal faith, but it seems like she has so little respect for it that she ended up misinterpreting or just plain missing the finer points of these two religions that she doesn't stoop to understand. The conclusions she draws are weaker for it, I feel. Maybe Nadia May's sneering tone exacerbated this sense... after listening to her narrate three Tuchman books in a row now, I'm starting to dislike her voice quite a lot. Still... the book has MUCH insight to offer, all the same, and I would recommend it for a thorough chronicle of the progression of events and motives that led to the curious position we find ourselves in today.
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- Kellie

Great historical insight into how we got to today

Once again, Barbara Tuckman has done a fine job of bringing history to life. Her review of the 1900 years of English fascination with the Holy Lands/Palestine leading up to the Balfour Mandate was very interesting. The insight on how all of that history led to the recreation of Israel as a Nation in Palestine was very informative. There is much shared in this book that many miss when considering the current situation of Arab and Jew.
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- T. F. Plona "Plimtuna"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-13-2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.