BY THE WATERS OF BABYLON by Robert Neumann

BY THE WATERS OF BABYLON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This book is more interesting in its inception than in its execution. Neumann takes the technique and pattern of Bridge of San Luis Rey and applies it to the problems of today's great Exodus. Ten Jews, passengers on a chartered bus bound for the Zionist settlement in Palestine, represent ten angles of contemporary Judaism. The stories are often moving, sometimes frightening, but Neumann tells their stories quietly, with no fanfare of trumpets. We see their past, occasionally even flashbacks to their ancestors; we meet men- and women -- from different walks of life, from varying parts of the world; they represent types and experiences, symptomatic of the great cross section which is Jewry. There are idealists, there are rank materialists, there are crooks, there is one renegade; they expect different things of Palestine, and only in the physical fact of their common journey do their roads converge. It might have been a more powerful book than it is, for one rarely forgets the author, ironically considering the social problems of a tortured world, and viewing not only the Nazi terror but intolerance through the ages -- with Death the only solution.

Pub Date: June 17th, 1940
Publisher: Simon & Schuster