In this Book

The Chosen Few
summary

In 70 CE, the Jews were an agrarian and illiterate people living mostly in the Land of Israel and Mesopotamia. By 1492 the Jewish people had become a small group of literate urbanites specializing in crafts, trade, moneylending, and medicine in hundreds of places across the Old World, from Seville to Mangalore. What caused this radical change? The Chosen Few presents a new answer to this question by applying the lens of economic analysis to the key facts of fifteen formative centuries of Jewish history. Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein offer a powerful new explanation of one of the most significant transformations in Jewish history while also providing fresh insights into the growing debate about the social and economic impact of religion.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. List of Tables
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xv-xviii
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  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. CHAPTER 1 70 CE–1492: How Many Jews Were There, and Where and How Did They Live?
  2. pp. 11-51
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  1. CHAPTER 2 Were the Jews a Persecuted Minority?
  2. pp. 52-65
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  1. CHAPTER 3 The People of the Book, 200 BCE–200 CE
  2. pp. 66-79
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  1. CHAPTER 4 The Economics of Hebrew Literacy in a World of Farmers
  2. pp. 80-94
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  1. CHAPTER 5 Jews in the Talmud Era, 200–650: The Chosen Few
  2. pp. 95-123
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  1. CHAPTER 6 From Farmers to Merchants, 750–1150
  2. pp. 124-152
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  1. CHAPTER 7 Educated Wandering Jews, 800–1250
  2. pp. 153-200
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  1. CHAPTER 8 Segregation or Choice? From Merchants to Moneylenders, 1000–1500
  2. pp. 201-247
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  1. CHAPTER 9 The Mongol Shock: Can Judaism Survive When Trade and Urban Economies Collapse?
  2. pp. 248-260
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  1. CHAPTER 10 1492 to Today: Open Questions
  2. pp. 261-273
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  1. Appendix
  2. pp. 274-286
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 287-316
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 317-324
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  1. Other Works in the Series
  2. pp. 325-326
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