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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 257

While summarizing The Source, a novel by James Michener, it helps to focus on the book’s sweeping nature. This is a story about the history of Judaism and the ultimate impact it has had on history. You’ll want to avoid getting stuck in any one particular part of the book, or else you’ll be implying that the whole thing is just about ancient Jews.

In order to be thorough in your summary, you’ll also need to mention later parts like how the original ideas of ancient Jews turned into Christianity, including how Christianity influenced many of the countries that came to prominence after the religion’s birth. You should spend some time on the Inquisition, the years around the various Crusades, and even all the way to the modern day and the current conflicts in the Middle East.

Each chapter is a different part of the story, and you shouldn’t let your summary get too heavy in any one chapter, in other words. This would make for an incomplete picture of the book. If nothing else, you’ll want to make room for interesting chapter stories towards the end of the book, such as “Rebbe Itzik and the Sabra” in chapter 16 which is about Ilian Eliav and Vered Bar El, two characters experiencing the beginning of the new version of Israel in 1948. This is an especially useful story to mention in your summary because it relates directly to the story from chapter 1 that is set in the sixties, with the same characters.

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