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Faith in Reason

Alberto Manguel

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An exploration of Maimonides, the medieval philosopher, physician, and religious thinker, author of The Guide of the Perplexed, from one of the world’s foremost bibliophiles
Moses ben Maimon, or Maimonides (1138–1204), was born in Córdoba, Spain. The gifted son of a judge and mathematician, Maimonides fled Córdoba with his family when he was thirteen due to Almohad persecution of all non-Islamic faiths. Forced into a long exile, the family spent a decade in Spain before settling in Morocco. From there, Maimonides traveled to Palestine and Egypt, where he died at Saladin’s court.
As a scholar of Jewish law, a physician, and a philosopher, Maimonides was a singular figure. His work in extracting all the commanding precepts of Jewish law from the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud, interpreting and commenting on them, and translating them into terms that would allow students to lead sound Jewish lives became the model for translating God’s word into a language comprehensible by all. His work in medicine—which brought him such fame that he became Saladin’s personal physician—was driven almost entirely by reason and observation.
In this biography, Alberto Manguel examines the question of Maimonides’ universal appeal—he was celebrated by Jews, Arabs, and Christians alike. In our time, when the need for rationality and recognition of the truth is more vital than ever, Maimonides can help us find strategies to survive with dignity in an uncertain world.

Alberto Manguel is an internationally acclaimed reader, writer, and interpreter of a broad array of texts. From 2015 to 2018 he was the director of the National Library of Argentina. His books include The Library at Night and Fabulous Monsters. He lives in Lisbon.

“Illuminating. . . .  Manguel employs meticulous detail and textual support to bring alive the ‘learned scientist, brilliant philosopher, and . . . religious devotee’ in a manner that’s both intellectually rigorous and historically vivid.”—Publishers Weekly

“In our confusing time, when rationality is fighting for its deserved place, Alberto Manguel’s brilliant book offers a historical and analytical premise for searching for the deserved place in the spiritual confrontation with the sacred.”—Norman Manea, author of The Fifth Impossibility: Essays on Exile and Language
ISBN: 9780300217896
Publication Date: March 21, 2023
256 pages, 5 3/4 x 8 1/4
16 b/w illus.

László F.

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Alberto Manguel

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Please Talk to Me

Selected Stories

Liliana Heker; Translated by Alberto Manguel and Miranda Fr

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Packing My Library

An Elegy and Ten Digressions

Alberto Manguel

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Jewish Lives
Hank Greenberg

The Hero Who Didn't Want to Be One

Mark Kurlansky

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Franz Kafka

The Poet of Shame and Guilt

Saul Friedländer

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A Life

Hillel Halkin

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The Lure of Wisdom

Steven Weitzman

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Primo Levi

The Matter of a Life

Berel Lang

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Leon Trotsky

A Revolutionary's Life

Joshua Rubenstein

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