I doubt that the author finds pleasure in being compared to other writers, but reading this excellent history of the Jewish War written by a non-specialist in this history, I thought of Murieille Hadas Lebel's Flavius Josephus; Eyewitness to Rome's First Century Conquest of Judea (1993). She too dug deeply into the sources for the purpose of writing a story unknown to many in France. Those that enjoyed reading the English translation of Lebel's book will also embrace Seward's. This is a needful kind of history writing, the work of non-specialists, exacting in their research and masters of the craft of writing. Because when all is said and done, it is such writers that can clasp the imagination of the general public that needs to know of what they wrote. Perhaps because they do not begin with a detailed knowledge of Josephus' works and the scholarship that has been done on them, they bring a fresh mind, a fresh view. Seward's Jerusalem's Traitor is surely destined for a wide readership. And if this is the case, he will fan the flames of interest that I have noticed is on the increase in the life story and writings of
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Jun 1, 2011
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