More confusing than enlightening
I had looked forward to watching the five-part Simon Schama series, The Story of the Jews (BBC Two), but the first instalment made very heavy weather of introducing its chronicle to a gentile population.
Choosing to start with self-confessed "godless Jew" Sigmund Freud in London and continuing with findings from archaelological digs in the Valley of Elah proved confusing rather than enlightening, though there were a few good soundbites along the way.
"Is Jewish culture a matter of always expecting the worst?" Schama asked at a Passover dinner, to which a friend replied in the affirmative, arguing that it was all a question of "paranoia confirmed by history".