From the New York Times bestselling author of Walking the Bible and Abraham comes a revelatory journey across four continents and 4,000 years exploring how Adam and Eve introduced the idea of love into the world, and how they continue to shape our deepest feelings about relationships, togetherness, and social cohesion.
Since antiquity, one story has stood at the center of every conversation about men and women. One couple has been the battleground for human relationships and sexual identity. Too often that couple’s story has been used to divide the sexes. History has blamed Adam and Eve—but especially Eve—for bringing sin, deceit, and death into the world.
In this astonishing reexamination of their lives, Bruce Feiler has once again taken one of our culture’s most fundamental stories and reimagined it for our time, dispelling centuries of conventional wisdom to present history’s most famous couple in a dazzling new light. Feiler travels from the Garden of Eden in Iraq to the Sistine Chapel in Rome, from John Milton’s London to Mae West’s Hollywood, discovering a rich counter-history of artists, thinkers, and leaders who saw Adam and Eve as exemplars of a resilient relationship that endures, even strengthens, through hardship. At a time of discord and fear over strength of our social fabric, Feiler releases civilization’s first couple from the box they’ve been trapped in for generations and shows how they can once more be role models for unity, reconciliation, and love.
Containing all the humor, insight, and wisdom that have endeared Bruce Feiler to millions of readers, The First Love Story gives us renewed reason to celebrate Adam and Eve as central figures in our time and reminds us that even our most familiar stories still have the ability to surprise, inspire, and guide us today.
“This may be Feiler’s best work yet. A wonderfully readable, powerfully presented look into the influence of the original love.”
— Publishers Weekly
“An eye-opening look at one of the most famous stories of all time. The First Love Story is a provocative journey that reconceptualizes the tale of Adam and Eve as not one of sin, but romantic love. The First Love Story also serves as a history of love itself—how we comprehend it, and how we express it. Eloquently written, Feiler’s book forces even the most experienced of religious scholars to rethink our understanding of sacredness and profanity.”
—Reza Aslan, author of Zealot
“With his characteristic insight and grace, Bruce Feiler has painted a revealing portrait of the archetypal human story of love, temptation, betrayal, and endurance. There is much to learn and ponder in these pages.”
—Jon Meacham, author of Thomas Jefferson
“The First Love Story is full of wit and wisdom. In charting the story of Adam and Eve, Bruce Feiler unfolds the history of love itself, showing how our sense of guilt and discomfort coincides with our experiences of passion, commitment, and joy.”
—Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree