Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-8108-5525-0 • Hardback • November 2010 • $110.00 • (£85.00)
978-0-8108-7508-1 • eBook • November 2010 • $98.50 • (£76.00)
Alan Unterman is currently retired from a career as a lecturer in Comparative Religion, mostly at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, and as the Minister of an Orthodox Synagogue in Manchester.
This volume is like most historical dictionaries published by Scarecrow Press. For starters, it is written by someone who knows the subject backward and forward. Unterman is not only a retired professor of comparative religion (University of Manchester) but also a minister of an Orthodox synagogue. He sets the historical tone within the first few pages by providing a moderately detailed chronology of Jewish history—beginning with the biblical patriarchs (2,000 BCE) and ending with Netanyahu's most recent installment as Israeli prime minister (2009). Following that is an introductory essay that provides a perfect historical overview for non-Jewish readers. The volume concludes with another Scarecrow staple: a thorough bibliography, which is subdivided into more than a dozen focused categories. With all this front and back matter, the dictionary proper still makes up 75 percent of the book....Overall, a very concise guide with a wonderful bibliography, recommended for academic, public, and special libraries.
Unlike dictionaries of Judaism that confine themselves to religious topics, this one by Unterman (emer., Univ. of Manchester, UK; author of a number of books on Judaism) also incorporates the ethnic and historical factors that make it possible to speak of a coherent Jewish "people." Entries range from brief (50 words for "Bergen-Belsen") to lengthier (400 words to describe the Talmud). Unterman includes a brief introduction to the history of the Jews, a list of acronyms, and a chronology that stretches from 2000 BCE to the election of Benjamin Netanyahu in 2009. The bibliography is grouped by subject titles including "Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust," "Bible," "Homosexuality," and "Women in Judaism." Entries are clearly written and often provide copious cross-references. Lower-level undergraduates and general readers.
— Choice Reviews
Few peoples have had so long a history as the Jews, nor, in proportion to their relatively small numbers, such a profound influence on the history of the world....This dictionary would be a useful guide to the main features of Jewish civilisation throughout the ages.
— Reference Reviews