The Sarajevo Haggadah is an illuminated manuscript and Jewish book of rites that has survived through centuries of war despite multiple attempts to destroy it. These efforts were acts of intolerance for the Jewish religion and part of hateful crusades fueled by religious and political fanatics who strove to subjugate the Jewish people and destroy their culture and practices. Because the Sarajevo Haggadah contains the sacred text of the Jewish religion, it was the target of authorities during Spanish inquisition, and it was the target of the Nazis during the Jewish Holocaust.
People of the Book tells about the efforts to save the manuscript from these people and their hateful campaigns, people whose acts of religious intolerance threatened to obliterate Jewish history. There are many instances in the book where the manuscript is caught in the middle of religious and political battles. Most notably, the story tells of a Muslim librarian who risked his life to hide the book from the Nazis when they entered Sarajevo in 1941 and demanded the Haggadah, which was housed there in a museum. The story also tells of a Catholic priest who saved the manuscript from burning in the Spanish Inquisition. A particularly chilling scene from the book shows how authorities during the Inquisition tortured people accused of heresy.