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The Source
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The Source
A Novel
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In the grand storytelling style that is his signature, James Michener sweeps us back through time to the very beginnings of the Jewish faith, thousands of years ago. Through the predecessors of four...
In the grand storytelling style that is his signature, James Michener sweeps us back through time to the very beginnings of the Jewish faith, thousands of years ago. Through the predecessors of four...
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  • In the grand storytelling style that is his signature, James Michener sweeps us back through time to the very beginnings of the Jewish faith, thousands of years ago. Through the predecessors of four modern men and women, we experience the entire colorful history of the Jews, including the life of the early Hebrews and their persecutions, the impact of Christianity, the Crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition, all the way to the founding of present-day Israel and the Middle-East conflict.
    "A sweeping chronology filled with excitement."
    THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    On Tuesday the freighter steamed through the Straits of Gibraltar and for five days plowed eastward through the Mediterranean, past islands and peninsulas rich in history, so that on Saturday night the steward advised Dr. Cullinane, “If you wish an early sigh of the Holy Land you must be up at dawn.” The steward was Italian and was reluctant to use the name Israel. For him, good Catholic that he was, it would always be the Holy Land.

    Some time before dawn Cullinane heard a rapping on his door and went on deck while the stars were still bright, but as the moon fell away toward areas he had left, the sun began to rise over the land he was seeking, and the crown of stars that hung over Israel glimmered fitfully and faded. The shoreline became visible, mauve hills in the gray dawn, and he saw three things he knew: to the left the white Muslim mosque of Akko, in the center the golden dome of the Bahai temple, and to the right, high on a hill, the brown battlements of the Catholic Carmelites.

    “Just like the Jews,” he said. “Denied religious liberty by all, they extend it to everyone.” He thought that might be a good motto for the new state, but as the freighter approached land he added, “I’d feel more like a traveler to Israel if they’d let me see one good synagogue.” But the Jewish religion was an internal thing, a system for organizing life rather than building edifices, and no Jewish religious structures were visible.

    Even at the dockside his introduction to the Jewish state was postponed, for the firs man who recognized him was a genial, good-looking Arab in his late thirties, dressed nattily in western clothes, who called from the shore in English, “Welcome! Welcome! Everything’s ready.” Two generations of British and American archaeologists had been greeted with this heartening call, either by the present Jemail Tabari or by his famous uncle, Mahmoud, who had worked on most of the historic digs in the area. Dr. Cullinane, from the Biblical Museum in Chicago, was reassured.

    For many years he had dreamed of excavating one of the silent mounds in the Holy Land, perhaps even to uncover additional clues to the history of man and his gods as they interacted in this ancient land; and as he waited for the freighter to tie up he looked across the bay to Akko, that jewel of a seaport, where so much of the history he was about to probe had started. Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and finally Richard the Lion Heart and his Crusaders had all come to that harbor in glorious panoply, and to follow in their footsteps was for an archaeologist like Cullinane a privilege.” I hope I do a good job,” he whispered.

About the Author-

  • James A. Michener was one of the world’s most popular writers, the author of more than forty books of fiction and nonfiction, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Tales of the South Pacific, the bestselling novels The Source, Hawaii, Alaska, Chesapeake, Centennial, Texas, Caribbean, and Caravans, and the memoir The World Is My Home. Michener served on the advisory council to NASA and the International Broadcast Board, which oversees the Voice of America. Among dozens of awards and honors, he received America’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1977, and an award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 1983 for his commitment to art in America. Michener died in 1997 at the age of ninety.

    Larry McKeever was an actor, narrator, and recording artist. He narrated hundreds of books, including novels by James A. Michener, Isaac Asimov, and Robert A. Heinlein. For more than 15 years, he contributed monthly to Braille Monitor, the leading publication of the National Federation of the Blind, and became known as the “voice of the blind.”

Reviews-

  • San Francisco Call Bulletin "Fascinating . . . stunning . . . [a] wonderful rampage through history . . . Biblical history, as seen through the eyes of a professor who is puzzled, appalled, delighted, enriched and impoverished by the spectacle of a land where all men are archeologists."--The New York Times

    "A sweeping [novel] filled with excitement--pagan ritual, the clash of armies, ancient and modern: the evolving drama of man's faith."--The Philadelphia Inquirer

    "Magnificent . . . a superlative piece of writing both in scope and technique . . . one of the great books of this generation."

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