In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.
But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.
Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.
Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.
The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.
Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.
The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.
“If Mike Myers ever becomes a Jeopardy! category, this book will win you the big bucks! In fact, author Martin Knelman scores a true daily double with this in-depth, no-holds-barred look into the darker side of Canada’s latest comic enfant terrible.”
The Globe and Mail
Martin Knelman, a prominent, award-winning Toronto journalist, is the author of three books about show business.
Penguin Canada/ August 2002 Firefly US/ Spring/03
The Life of Mike Myers
Mike Myers, raised in suburban Toronto, started his career at Second City, then soared into the spotlight on Saturday Night Live and quickly graduated to stardom with such hit films as Wayne’s World, the Austin Powers movies, and Shrek. Much loved by adoring audiences, he has become plagued by his growing reputation as a demanding, controlling artist.
Martin Knelman, author of acclaimed biographies of John Candy and Jim Carrey, examines the source of Mike Myers’ talent, the roots of his ambition, and the trajectory of his career.
The story starts in 1956, when one year after their marriage, Eric and Alice, aka “Bunny,” Myers left England and settled in Scarborough, one of Toronto’s middle-class suburbs and the font of much of Mike’s material. To Eric, nothing in life was more imporant than comedy, especially British comedy.
Mike had a lucrative showbiz career as a boy, landing 17 commercials for such brands as Kit Kat candy bars, K-mart, and Pepsi. But it was a commercial with the late Gilda Radner that changed his life. As an 11-year-old boy, Mike fell in love with her. When she became a star on Saturday Night Live, he announced that he too would one day star on the show.
Wayne’s World, a famous sketch on Saturday Night Live, based on Mike’s adolescence in Scarborough, led to the incredibly successful film. But Mike’s reputation as a talented but difficult artist was becoming the stuff of tabloid fodder and lawsuits, perhaps unfairly.
Mike Myers always abided by his father’s credo that “silliness is an underrated art form and a state of grace.”