Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Adele egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Beauty Deals Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals BestoftheYear Outdoor Deals on Tikes
Maimonides and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $19.00
  • Save: $5.05 (27%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Maimonides: The Life and ... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: PLEASE READ FULL DESCRIPTION -USED GOOD- This book has been read and may show wear to the cover and or pages. There may be some dog-eared pages. In some cases the internal pages may contain highlighting/margin notes/underlining or any combination of these markings. The binding will be secure in all cases. This is a good reading and studying copy and has been verified that all pages are legible and intact. If the book contained a CD it is not guaranteed to still be included. All items are packed and shipped from the Amazon warehouse.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization's Greatest Minds Paperback – February 9, 2010

31 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$9.61 $7.73

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$13.95 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization's Greatest Minds
  • +
  • A Maimonides Reader (Library of Jewish Studies)
  • +
  • The Guide of the Perplexed, Vol. 1
Total price: $66.36
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1947, when he was 14, Kraemer started to study Maimonides. Now, the 75-year-old professor emeritus at the University of Chicago has produced his magnum opus, a definitive biography of medieval Judaism's chief intellectual sage. To prepare himself, Kraemer mastered many languages, traveled throughout the world and studied innumerable documents, including those found in the Genizah, the storeroom of Cairo's Ben Ezra synagogue. The impressive results of Kraemer's diligent research are set forth in this learned book, supported by 90 pages of footnotes. He offers a splendid analysis of Maimonides's major works: Commentary on the Mishnah; Mishneh Torah and Guide to the Perplexed (which Kraemer calls Guide of the Perplexed.) The erudite presentation includes vital information about the life of Maimonides, tracing his path from his birth in Spain to his move to Morocco, his visit to Palestine and, finally, to his settling in Egypt. Kraemer's imposing contribution is designed for his fellow scholars. General readers should turn to the more fathomable 2005 biography, Maimonides by Sherwin B. Nuland, from Nextbook/Schocken's Jewish Encounters series and just published in paper. (Oct. 28)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Kraemer’s comprehensive study of the great medieval philosopher and Jewish theologian Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides) shows that Maimonides’ wisdom arose in no small part from having feet in multiple worlds. Although a product of Andalusia and the Mahgreb, Maimonides set down roots in Egypt; a pious Jew, he successfully navigated corridors of power dominated by Islam. A dedicated writer and scholar, he nevertheless spent a significant portion of his life immersed in the daily exigencies of medicine, business, government, and law. Perhaps most significant from a philosophical perspective, Maimonides was both an expert on the Talmud and an intellectual heir to Aristotle’s rationalism. Such multifaceted experiences, shows Kraemer, made Maimonides a gifted synthesizer of ideas, and an exemplar of the richness of twelfth-century Mediterranean culture. Kraemer, too, has a talent for synthesis, distilling Maimonides’ entire corpus of writing (including copious correspondence) and a small mountain of secondary sources (some apocryphal) into a fluid and accessible narrative. Lucid descriptions of medieval Mediterranean life—including commerce, political intrigue, and the constant interplay between cultures—will be compelling even for readers unfamiliar with Maimonides’ contributions to philosophy. --Brendan Driscoll --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Religion (February 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385512007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385512008
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By David Crumm on November 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In this era of turbulent change, we need to savor the spiritual wisdom of people who thrived in such eras before us.

In January, during Interfaith Heroes Month, Daniel Buttry wrote a short tribute to the 12th-century Maimonides among 31 short profiles in his book, "Interfaith Heroes." Buttry's summary remains a pretty good snapshot of this towering figure: "Maimonides was one of the greatest Jewish thinkers ever, producing foundational philosophical works on Judaism. ... He also was known for the breadth of his thinking and scholarship. He wrote medical works in Arabic ... and he worked diligently to reconcile scientific teachings with the teachings of his faith. ... Because Maimonides was open to diversity and was knowledgeable about many different streams ... he was able to weave together ancient Greco-Roman, medieval Arab, Jewish and Western cultures while retaining clear and cogent roots in his own Jewish faith."

In short: This is a guy we need to consult today in our own period of cultural upheaval!

Dr. Joel Kraemer has spent 60 years of his own life studying Maimonides--including many years Dr. Kraemer devoted to learning the languages that Maimonides himself mastered. Fortunately, Dr. Kraemer's lifelong pursuit of the great sage has ended in the gift of this eye-opening exploration of Maimonides' life, work and wisdom.

This book could not have come at a better moment.

If you like to dive into challenging, in-depth biographies, like David McCullough's "
...Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By bbb000 on December 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Maimonides lived from 1135 to 1204, first in cities of Spain, then travelled to Morocco & Palestine and finally settling in Cairo Egypt, where he eventually became the undiputed leader and principal teacher of the Jewish community of Egypt. As Jewry main 'dude', modern term, in terms of legal authority and philosopher, he was humane and tough minded, a comfort to jews and the main disciplinarian of heresy. He wrote that it was incumbent upon a jew restricted in practice of his worship to depart to another location, as he himself had been repeatedly forced to do at the hands of the Almohads, a fundamentalist Islamic group that took control of the Spanish peninsula in 1148 and gave non-muslims the choice of conversion or death. Echoes of what is happening in our times. But he also said, " If a man asks me, Shall I be slain or utter the formula of Islam?" I answer "Utter the formula and live."

Maimonides transformed Judaism, composing its Thirteen commandments of faith. the celebrated 12th commandment, " I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the messiah, and though he tarry, i will wait daily for his coming - he entered popular consiousness. His "Guide for the Perplexed" written in Arabic and finished in 1190, further recast Judaism, offering a philosophical interpretation of the Scriptures far removed from the conventional readings of his, and our own, times.

Today, Maimonides stands for an austerely doctrinal Judaism, the severe reprimand of all forms of idolatry and the combining of Jewish learning with secular science and Aristotillean philosophy( by way of Islamic intellectuals such as Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushid and others).
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Outside of students of religion and philosophers, the only ones who can be expected to know the name Maimonides are those youngsters who attended Hebrew School. The great 12th-century thinker composed a "ladder of charity" that ranks his preference from best (helping the individual find a job so he may take care of himself) to worst (giving begrudgingly). Since Jews are taught at an early age about the importance of charity, it's a perfect fit.

And that's pretty much it, which is a shame for someone who would have been called a Renaissance man had he been born a couple of centuries later.

Scholar, philosopher, doctor, astronomer, poet: Maimonides apparently mastered many disciplines during his lifetime. I say "apparently" because, as well researched as Joel L. Kramer's new biography obviously is, something seems to be lacking. He spends much more time on "the world" aspect and less on "the life." Despite the depth of Kraemer's epic, he acknowledges, "where there are gaps in Maimonides' life, they are often filled with legend and surmise so that his life is surrounded by myth."

Indeed, no sooner does the author mention his birth than he expounds on Cordoba and the surrounding regions, Andalusian Jewish culture and the educational methods of the day. There are gaps in the biographical data that he seeks to fill, with mixed results. Much of Maimonides's world is fascinating, as Kramer explains the day-to-day routines, the political and royal machinations, the exultations and hazards of long-distance travel.

As a Jew, Maimonides seems to have come out better than his co-religionists (although it seems he converted, as many were forced to do in those tenuous times, it was to Islam rather than Christianity).
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization's Greatest Minds
This item: Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization's Greatest Minds
Price: $13.95
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: greatest mind books, wicked will rise, y. tzvi langermann, saul lieberman, commentary on hippocrates aphorisms