Book summarySand began his work by looking for research studies about forcible exile of Jews from the area now bordered by modern Israel, and its surrounding regions. He was astonished that he could find no such literature, he says, given that the expulsion of Jews from the region is viewed as a constitutive event in Jewish history. The conclusion he came to from his subsequent investigation is that the expulsion simply didn't happen, that no one exiled the Jewish people from the region, and that the Diaspora is essentially a modern invention. He accounts for the appearance of millions of Jews around the Mediterranean and elsewhere as something that came about primarily through the religious conversion of local people, saying that Judaism, contrary to popular opinion, was very much a "converting religion" in former times. He holds that mass conversions were first brought about by the Hasmoneans under the influence of Hellenism, and continued until Christianity rose to dominance in the fourth century CE.