The Source; a Novel Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 47 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Source; a Novel.
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The Source; a Novel Summary & Study Guide Description

The Source; a Novel Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Source; a Novel by James A. Michener.

The Source by James A. Michener is a voyage through history, focused on Israel and the Middle East. Some characters, places and events are historical, others are fictional.

The story begins with an archaeological dig in the 1960s that takes place at the mythical site of Makor, near Jerusalem. Many artifacts are found, including a Roman temple, basilica, synagogue, mosque and castle all on the same site. Each section of the book corresponds to a different period in the history of the site and some chapters may be several thousand years apart. The book is basically the story of the different people who lived in and around Makor from primitive times up until the 1960s. Each of the chapters in the book relates to one or more of the artifacts found at the site and tells the story of that artifact and the people that lived at the time. In each case, one of the characters in the chapter had some contact with the artifact and the chapter explains how the artifact came to be found at the site.

The book is rich in the teaching of the traditions and cultures of the various religions that existed in that area from paganism through the development of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and how they interacted. Most of the emphasis is on Makor and how the people, especially those of the Family of Ur, existed. Most of the problems in the early stages of history were based on religion and the book explains what happened in a society as different religions developed and came into existence.

Most of the tracing of the Jewish religion takes place through four characters and through these four characters, the faith and culture are explained and revealed with explanations of how the culture evolved the way it did.

The book is interesting and one of the best that Michener has written. Michener makes history come alive for the readers in the interesting journey from primitive times to the 1960s. The reader watches the Jewish faith develop and sees how Talmudic law came into being through the workings of dedicated rabbis. He also explains some of the modern rules that govern Judaism as there were problems of widowed and divorced woman trying to remarry.

The Source is a long but very interesting book. People interested in Judaism and historical epics will enjoy reading the book. Readers who fall into either category should not miss reading the novel. It is well worth the amount of time spent reading.

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