Cardozo was born in Spain as a Catholic to a family that had once been Jewish but had converted to Christianity to avoid persecution (so-called "conversos"). In his 20s, Cardozo escaped to Venice and converted back to Judaism. In the last half of the 17th century, Cardozo underwent a bizarre spiritual journey: first becoming a devotee of the false Messiah Sabbatai Zevi, then adopting a kind of quasi-polytheism distinguishing between the "First Cause" and the "God of Israel", and then in his old age having messianic delusions about himself.
This work is a biography of Cardozo and an anthology of his writings. The writings are of interest only as unintentional humor.
The biography is more interesting; the author suggests that Cardozo's Christian background, when combined with kabbalistic mysticism, may have predisposed him towards some of his ideas (for example, Cardozo argued that Zevi was Messiah precisely because he was disowned by many Jews- just as some Gospels suggest Jesus was).