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on June 24, 2016
I have read about half of this book and find it very interesting and informative. It certainly clears up a mystery for me. I am a native New Yorker and had many acquaintances who were Jewish from European ancestry. But I could never understand how this assimilation took place, since the Jews were supposed to be from the middle east. This book explains other parallel historical developments concerning the Vikings, Russia, other Turkish tribes as well as the Khazars development and subsequent conversion. As one gets past the introductory information, the book reads as well as a non-fiction work, as opposed to a dry historical tome. There are plenty of footnotes and references to substantiate the research. The author is very careful to give the sources he relies on and in most cases tries to get more than one source to substantiate the information he relies on. This book is not a polemic or agenda driven, but rather one that tries to enlighten the reader as to historical occurrences. I suggest that this book will be informative to anyone interested in early European history and its alliances affect us today.
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on May 10, 2017
As an awoken negro, I appreciate this book telling the truth. Not only telling me that I am not anti -Semite but I am perhaps an original Semite. For me this book puts a lot into perspective especially about the origin of the Jewish people and confirming my suspicions that the majority of the modern day Jew is not the same people as referred to in the Bible as Hebrews or the chosen people of the Most High Yah. Great read...
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on January 21, 2018
All I will say is that people hate the truth when it doesn't support their agenda. Thousands of years ago, brown people crossed the Euphrates River--they were called Ebre. When they finally returned, they were no longer brown, and they had begun calling themselves Jews or Hebrew. They were not from a 13th unknown tribe, they had simply lost their ways, indecisively converting back and forth, in hopes that they could fool the world that they were God's chosen people.
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on November 10, 2017
This is a history book through and through. Don't expect much in terms of the implications of the findings. The author is a brilliant historian but the writing is a bit dry. So don't expect to run through this book unless you're a history buff.

The author seems to spend the majority of the book proving the so-called jews of today are not of semetic origin. But then, instead of facing the overwhelming consequences of said proof, he sort of chickens out and goes into damage control mode for the jews. In short, he's more interested in historical facts than the political/social consequences of those facts.

That was a bit dissappointing, but that doesn't stop the text from being exhaustingly thorough in its research. The "fun" conclusions of said discoveries will be up to braver writers to face.
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on November 18, 2014
I had no idea how interesting the history of places I had never heard of, and times I knew nothing about, could be! This picture of one tribe in the dark and middle ages in Europe and Asia filled in many gaps in my knowledge and kept me eagerly turning pages, while marvelling at the extraordinary grasp of detail the author displayed.

I thank R. Roth for his update about genetics. All readers should acquaint themselves with his review, and, please, fellow readers, don't blame Arthur Koestler for not knowing what had not been discovered yet!
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on March 9, 2015
This book is packed with details of ancient history from many peoples in the Caucasus region, not just about the Khazars, and you will be as surprised as I was to learn of these many hidden details of these peoples. If you enjoy history, this is the book to get. The only downside of this book is that it is advertised as being 318 pages and the paperback edition I was sent was only 255 pages. There seems to be 63 pages missing. I don't know if this will have any bearing on the message Koestler wanted to convey or not, but I wanted everyone to be aware of this discrepancy. Overall, it was still well worth getting from the information it contained and I believe, from other sources that I also know of, that Koestler proves his thesis of the Khazars NOT being ethnic Jews, since even their own King Joseph gives a detailed linage proving heritage back to JAPETH, NOT Abraham, and scholars have verified the authenticity of this record. We all have our own particular "beliefs" that we can justify to not believe what Koestler states in this book but it's kind of hard to argue with facts. As Benjamin Disraeli once said: "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics" and this book is loaded with statistics that can't be argued with nor refuted, just ignored or not believed!!! Get the book get educated, and you decide the Truth of what is presented.
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on July 21, 2012
I've read this book several times in the past - but not on the Kindle Program. As a repeat; I've reviewed this book several times many years ago. As for the book itself, I can easily see that it would raise eyebrows among many in the World Jewish Community. All Jews would like to be blood-related to the 12 Biblical Tribes of Israel (the Chosen Ones.) . Well, this book is an eye opener for many. Since this book has been written - now with the discovery of proven DNA - many - especially among tribes of Cohen; much has been recorded and Mr. Koesler is apparently correct. In any event, it's well worth reviewing.
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on January 11, 2015
This is really interesting, though confusing to keep the areas straight as the names aren't the same as they are now. I bought this because I met a bus driver who said he wasn't a Jew (he was wearing a mezuza, which was odd in itself), because he belonged to the 13th tribe, and suggested I read this book.
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on July 3, 2014
I really enjoyed this book. Its about 200 pages, with about another 50 in references. It shows conclusively that the majority of European, or Ashkenazi Jews, are descendent from Europeans that converted to Judaism and have no physical connection to Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob.

The book is a fascinating history of the Khazar kingdom that flourished for about 300 years in what is now known as Ukraine, with its prime at about 850 AD. It was an emerging practical trend for countries/kingdoms/states to adopt in mass one of the four major Abrahamic religions - Judaism, Islam, or one of the two Christian branches of Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox. But at that time the religions each had powerful leaders whose strength was used to dominate and extract money from its member kingdoms. So the Khazar king choose Judaism to be different from each of his adjacent states.

It also goes into great detail about the emerging states and kingdoms around Khazaria that evolved into today's Poland, Hungary, and Russia. It provides a clear picture of invading Vikings sailing down the Volga river from the Baltic Sea, cutting across the Volga-Orr portage, and continuing to the Black Sea.

This is not a novel, or a historical novel, but a well researched history book on a focused subject. But I picked it up I couldn't put it down -the writing was that clear and the subject that interesting.

After 9/11 and terrorist Osama Bin Laden giving six reasons for attacking the US, with Israel and support of Israel being four of them, we are all interested in what exactly we are supporting there. We have been told that we are supporting Jews; Jews who are a semitic people descendent from ancient Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And we have been told that they were so persecuted up until and during WWII that the only solution is to give them their own country out of what was once their own country.

The creation of Israel created lots of problems. It created a humanitarian nightmare with the Palestinians who lived and live there. We, someone 6000 miles away, gave their home to someone else 1000 miles away. But what the book does is show us beyond any reasonable doubt that the European Jews might need compensation or a solution for their situation, but their claim to being the 'Promised' is unquestionably a false one.

Whatever your motivation for reading this well-written book, I hope you find it as fascinating and enlightening as I did.
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on April 17, 2015
It answered a lot of questions I have had about how two groups from the same religion can be so different and it explains, at least to me why the Sephardic Jewish community practices the religion the way they do and explains the more fundamentalist attitude found in much of the European and Hassidic Jews that is foreign to the Sephardic Jews. After all they didn't originate from the same place.
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