JERUSALEM, SONG OF SONGS by Jill Uris

JERUSALEM, SONG OF SONGS

KIRKUS REVIEW

Some atmospheric photographs by Mrs. Uris, but otherwise a disaster: uninformed, intemperate, chauvinistic, and altogether embarrassing. Not content with Jerusalem, lifts tries his hand at a splashy, impressionistic history of Israel, from Abraham to Teddy Kollek ("the greatest single person to have benefited Jerusalem since the days of the Bible"). But the results are unfortunate. Consider the following pronouncements: "Rameses II became Hitler in the bunker, a raving madman." (Lifts forgets for the moment that he doesn't believe in the literal truth of the Exodus story.) "Mosaic law . . . will never be improved upon." (Treatment of women?) Alexander the Great was "one of the glamor figures of all history." Jesus was "in his rookie year as a rabbi." (Uris the stylist.) "The main body of Jews rejected Mohammed's divinity." (As did the entire body of Muslims.) "Nothing resembling a democracy has existed or ever will exist in the Arab world. . . . The Arab world has contributed almost nothing in the way of advancement for the human race for a thousand years. Work is not an Arab ethic." (Uris as cultural historian.) One can understand Uris's intense partisan feelings for modern Israel, and one can pardon his careless scissors-and-paste approach to ancient Israel; but his mouthings here are just too much.
Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 1981
ISBN: 0553249649
Page count: 344pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1981