"This book is a real gem in the Jewish history genre" -Myrtle Rising
When I used to read Mishpacha magazine, Libi Astairewas one of the writers whom I would always read no matter what topic she covered, and even whether it was fiction or non-fiction.
Being a history buff – especially of women’s and Jewish history – I had my eye on Day Trips to Jewish History for a long time, even though I knew I'd already read most of these articles in Mishpacha already. But I finally bought it anyway and was not disappointed.
For me, it's material I enjoy re-reading.
Libi covers all sorts of stuff that isn’t widely known, but is very intriguing. For example:
What really happened to the Jewish children kidnapped to the Portuguese-African island of Sao Tome and whether they were really eaten by the giant lizards that inhabited the island at that time as other sources had mentioned.
(Libi sheds an astounding amount of light onto that event and what happened afterwards.)
Or what was really going on with Shylock’s portrayal in the Merchant of Venice?
And was Hebrew truly close to becoming the official language of Colonial America?
And for some reason, I’m always very interested in what people ate at different times and in different cultures, so happily, Libi covers this too.
The book also addresses a wide variety of periods, topics, and cultures in Jewish history:
early Spanish-Jewish settlement in the Americas
and much more.
It’s very well-written and the research she invested is incredible. Getting her hands on early source material, consulting with experts and officials, and even visiting many of the places about which she writes lends solid credibility and delicious detail to her writing.
This book is a real gem in the Jewish history genre.
(Note: Libi has also been quite prolific in writing high-quality, deeply researched, Jewish-themed historical novels that are worth checking out.)