THE STONES OF ZION by Gerald Green


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Novelist Green (The Last Angry Man, Faking It) has taken his tour of Israel with a casual good humor, an energetic lay interest in archaeology and a saving trace of urban Jewish-American skepticism. Mr. Green and his Catholic wife doggedly toured the shrines, artifacts and digs of Israel. They visited Masada (Green had no ""mystic identification"" but conveys its spiritual legacy for Israel), major excavations, the Church of Annunciation (""All the charm of Loew's Pitkin"") and the Church of the Nativity (""honesty and simplicity""). Through talks with his sabra guide, just barely tolerant of ignorance and Americans, a kibbutz group, three Baptist archaeologists, the mighty guide Zev Vilnay, an interview with Dr. Nelson Glueck, and others, Green gathered impressions, similar in outline to those of most visitors but with some specific variances. He ""rarely witnessed exuberance, excessive loquacity""; he was bemused by the lack of rancor among lsraelis because of national backgrounds; he is not sure of the line between idealism and expediency -- i.e. kibbutz child-rearing programs. But like the others he is impressed by the sunlight, the places where ""civilization (is) on the edge of nothingness"" and the spiritual and physical strength of the people. This is a confidential, low-keyed report which Mr. Green might have given to friends at his welcome home party.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1971
Publisher: Hawthorn