Library Journal (starred review October 1, 2010)

Malamed (The Jews in Early America) has created a fascinating book that mixes the genres of ethnography, narrative history, documentary history, and sociology in this study of Sephardic Jewish families converted or scattered in the wake of the Spanish Inquisition. The book depends on dozens of interviews with living descendants of Iberian Jews, and it includes materials on Spanish and Portuguese “secret names,” timelines, expeditions, and many illustrations. Despite the Inquisition’s best efforts and a great deal of self-denial, a remarkable persistence of largely undiscussed folk customs remains. This is a rich and fascinating resource on Iberian Jews and their descendants, a treat for Jewish readers and historically minded readers alike.

The Return to Judaism
Descendants from the Inquisition Discovering Their Jewish Roots
by Sandra Cumings Malamed
ISBN 978-1-56474-504-0
336 pages, cloth, $32.50

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