Another in a series of books on festivals, this seems almost too scholarly in substance and approach for anything but a specialized market. The general public among Jewish readers will not like to have their pet traditions regarding Purim exploded nor the story of Esther retold in proper form, nor the glaring incongruities as to the accepted sources of the legends pointed out. Scholars, however, will find this revealing and convincing. Any reader interested in observance of festivals, however, will find the comprehensive analysis of the religious services the observances in home and community, the inclusion of traditional songs, in original and in translation, very illuminating. The last third of the book concerns itself with Hanukkah, as a festival of dedication, and here too traditional observance is described in detail.