מה אומרים המבקרים על המהדורה האנגלית
This is an extraordinary, unique and invaluable book. Violette Shamash, who died in 2006, tells the story of the Jewish community in Baghdad in the first half of the 20th century. She writes beautifully and her book is superbly readable. She describes in exquisite detail the histories, lives and customs of Iraqi Jewish through the evocative stories of her own family. This astonishing record has been put together by Violette's daughter Mira and her husband Tonny Rocca from letters notes and essays written by Violette over a period of twenty years. These tell the story of a cultivated and well integrated Jewish community in the heart of the Muslim Arabia during the end of the Ottoman Empire and the British Mandate.
Memories of Eden is a superb account of long forgotten time – indeed a time which is barely imaginable now, given the hatreds that currently exist in the Middle East.
Writer and broadcaster
Author of Allies: The U.S., Britain, and Europe in the aftermath of the Iraq war
'An "inside look" at an inside look at the last decades of Jewish daily life in Baghdad – from Ottoman rule to British influence to the Nazi-allied pogrom known as the Farhud. After twenty-six centuries, Jewish life was brought to a violent dispossessing close… …Memories of Eden records the forgotten details, and preserves the sights and smells, joys and anxieties of those final pivotal decades.
Award-winning New York Times bestselling
Author of Banking on Baghdad and IBM and the holocaust
'This is family history at its best – evocative, revealing and moving. Violette's memoirs are not just elegantly written; they have a dream-like quality which one does not encounter in works of history very often. More importantly, we have here a rare and graphic account by a young woman witnessing the pogrom of June 1941 which ended the history of the world's oldest Jewish community.
Dr Berhard Fulda
Director of Studies in History, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
'Her book provides a unique insight into the culture, customs and everyday life of the Jewish of Iraq. It paints a sensitive portrait of an ancient civilization which was swept away by the violent current of modern nationalism. The contrast between the harmony and peaceful coexistence depicted here and the mayhem and destructiveness of present- day Iraq could hardly be starker.
Professor of International Relations, St Antony's College, Oxford.
Author of Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace
'…Now comes Violette Shamash's contribution – a refreshing rarity. This fascinating and evocative story is about a forgotten, earlier era, written with a young person's hand and sense of wonderment that draw the reader effortlessly into the City of Caliphs and days of imperial Ottoman and British rule.
Professor Shmuel Moreh
Israel Prize Laureate, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem