This is a compelling history in which twelve defining moments in the Jewish Diaspora spring to life through a focus on the personal and public lives of individuals - heart rending, grand, and profound in its implications. It shows how the Jewish people survived eight hundred years of persecution and forced migration, building and rebuilding their lives and communities. Structured as a chronological series of moment-in-time portraits, focusing on individuals and their interaction with their families and society, the narrative carries readers through the economic, political, social and intellectual climates of some of the world's most famous and fascinating cosmopolitan centres. From the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, to the emigration of Soviet Jews from Russia following the Six Day War in Israel, in 1967, "Scattered Among the People" makes twelve stops through history. Levine's account describes the expulsions and the scandals, the false messiahs and the first ghetto, assassinations, blood libels, the learning and wealth that sprung up in distant cities, and devastating reversals of fortune. This is a tale of catastrophic loss and inspired reconstruction.
Above all, this saga chronicles the lives of a vibrant cast of characters: well known historical figures-such as the Spanish merchant and poet Don Isaac Abravanel (1437-1508), the French soldier Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935), and the American writer and editor Abraham Cahan (1860-1951)-as well as many of those who have been forgotten. The successes and the failures of so many, as teachers, rabbis, merchants, writers, soldiers, and physicians, adds a colourful and accessible dimension to the sprawling saga of the Diaspora.