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Sachar chronicles the story of the Iberian Jews, the doyens of Jewish history, from their "Golden Age" in medieval Spain through their harassment, expulsion, and dispersion to new lives in Western Europe, the Balkans, Turkey, the Levant, the Americas, and eventually modern Israel.
In 1492, on the eve of Columbus's voyage, the last professing Jews in Spain were driven from the lands where they had known tolerance during seven centuries of Islamic rule. Those Sephardim who remained could only do so as New Christians. those who left become the seed of Jewish civilizations that would spring up as far away as Morocco and the Netherlands, Ottoman Turkey, and colonial Brazil.
In Farewell, Espana one of our most distinguished Jewish historians follows the Sephardic diaspora in its passage across the Old and New Worlds and from the golden age of convivencia to the Holocaust. The result is a major work of Jewish history, formidable in its scholarship and filled with bravura storytelling.
"Sachar achieves a kind of grandeur, a certain scale and sweep, and a fugue-like juxtaposition of old and new, exotic and familiar, that transcends the mere chronicling of facts and figures...A poignant celebration of a rich vein of Jewish history."--Los Angeles Times
"Fascinating and beautifully written...a history of dazzling cultural achievement, of economic vigor, of expulsion, Inquisition and Holocaust."--The New York Times Book Review