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John Marco Allegro
The Maverick of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Judith Anne Brown
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POD; Published: 8/24/2007
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6333-1
Price: $ 28.50
308 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.14 x 9.21
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George J. Brooke
— University of Manchester
"Judith Brown's beautifully written biography of her father provides a richly informative and candid overview of John Allegro's life and thought. Through her intricate use of dozens of his letters and other unpublished items, Allegro tells his own story. In the hands of his daughter, however, the self-presentation is skillfully controlled so that this immensely energetic and intellectually provocative character, who has been much maligned, is shown in a fresh and appealing light. This is an impressive work for reconstructing the intellectual history of Dead Sea Scrolls studies."
Philip R. Davies
— University of Sheffield
"John Allegro was probably the most colorful and controversial character ever to be involved in the editing of the Dead Sea Scrolls. His interpretations brought him into conflict with his fellow editors, but he did more than anyone else to provoke public interest in these documents, especially the Copper Scroll, on which his views have been vindicated. His view of Christianity as based on a 'mushroom cult' was even more controversial and was widely (but wrongly) understood as a cynical publicity stunt. But there is more to his personality and his career than this, and his daughter Judith Brown has written a biography that sympathetically but not uncritically reveals this fascinating man, explains the issues that he tangled with, and introduces many of the individuals whose lives he infected with his extraordinary enthusiasm."
James C. VanderKam
— University of Notre Dame
"This biography should be of great interest to anyone intrigued by the Dead Sea Scrolls and the history of scholarship on them. John Allegro's daughter counters the negative image of her father by quoting liberally from his correspondence and describing his publications; she also manages to achieve some critical distance in restoring a fair balance to his reputation."
Jodi Magness
— University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"This fascinating and informative biography of John Allegro will be of interest to specialists as well as to the general public. . . Scholars will find Allegro's letters to other members of the original Dead Sea Scrolls editing team to be especially valuable."