Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Who are "the people of the book?"

  • People of the Book is a term used by Muslims to refer to non-Muslim followers of religions that have a book of prayer. The three religions mentioned in the Qur'an as people of the book are Judaism, Sabianism and Christianity. Muslim rulers and scholars have included other religions such as Zoroastrianism and Hinduism.
  • Despite all of the rampant violence and evil, the Bible is known as the Good Book.
  • In Judaism, the term "People of the Book" refers specifically to the Jewish people.
There is an unusually high percentage of Jewish people who are writers, publishers and editors -- and lots of us have beards! (At least, the men do.)

Considering that the Jewish people constitute a mere one half of one percent of the world's population, it's pretty amazing that Jews have won (according to one list) 52% of the Pulitzer Prizes for non-fiction literature, and from 12 to 33 percent of the prizes for other forms of writing. 
The prize was established by Joseph Pulitzer, a bearded Jewish newspaper publisher. He left money to Columbia University when he died in 1911. A portion of his bequest was used to found the university's journalism school in 1912. The first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded in 1917. Recipients are chosen by an independent board.

You don't have to be Jewish to win a Pulitzer prize, but it might help.

1 comment:

  1. If I change my name from Erin Murphy to Aaron Markowitz will I be more likely to win a Pulitzer?