ISRAEL: LAND OF THE JEWS: A Survey of Forty-Three Centuries by Mina C. & H. Arthur Klein

ISRAEL: LAND OF THE JEWS: A Survey of Forty-Three Centuries

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Forty-three centuries is a very long time, and ""survey"" is indeed the word to describe this narrative which extends from Abraham's covenant to the founding of Medinath Yisrael. The purpose is to demonstrate the continuity of Jewish life in the Holy Land (as per James Parkes' conclusion that ""through the centuries the region called Palestine became a national home for the Jews, and for no other definable people""). The failure to deal at any length with the modern Arab-Israeli conflict weakens the force of this argument, but the premise does not necessarily lead to a biased viewpoint -- just a two-dimensional one. The Kleins begin with an exegesis of the Genesis stories ""necessary for an understanding of what the land of Israel came to mean to the Jews"" but soon shift to straight political history -- tracing the conflicts between Saducees and Pharisees, the course of the Zealot revolt against Rome, the succession of Moslem rulers and the rampages of the Crusaders (which succeeded in nearly emptying Jerusalem of Jews for nearly two centuries). The events of the 19th and 20th centuries are summarized very briefly, ending with Israel's declaration of statehood. The promised index, bibliography and maps should make this a serviceable reference source, but it is far less entertaining and no less difficult than a comparable adult title -- Max Dimont's Jews, God and History, (1962).

Pub Date: March 24th, 1972
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill