It is hard to say which of the three parts of this provocative and brilliant book is the most stimulating reading. Part I is a philosophical and psychological history of the years between the Balfour Declaration with its promise that could not be fulfilled- and the sorry end of the British mandate; Part II is firsthand record of events in the author's own closeup view of the first eight months of the State of Israel; Part III is general observation on many facets of language, religion, politics, culture and the contradictions in the development of the new nation. This is no easy road to knowing all about that difficult small country and its people. The text demands full participation on the part of the reader, and presumes at least a basic understanding of the troubled history. While fully sympathizing with the goals of Zionism, Koestler is objectively critical of the leadership, the controls, the grim determination to hold the inflexible line of tradition. He may even be accused by Zionists of presenting now the British, now the Arab side of the controversy. Actually, while he does not condone, he does understand. For this reason, his book makes a valid contribution both to history that is past- and to the modern scene. A great many people will resent the book; it will arouse controversy. But it should be read.