In a companion volume to The Splendor of Greece, the indefatiguable Robert Payne has given his readers a country in which 2000 years of the past live in close relation with a pioneer state of today and tomorrow. There is here the same vitality, grasp, understanding and spirit that characterize his interpretations of not only Greece but Persia, China, Troy. There is an immediacy in his reporting that brings the past into the present. He moves from places to peoples -- from ancient Jerusalem to modern Tel Aviv, to Caesarea, Haifa, Nazareth, Tiberias and back again to Jerusalem of today. Israel of the Old Testament and the New emerges as he digs into the archaeological layers and into the hearts and minds of the inhabitants -- from Galilee on the border of Jordan to the Negev in the far south. It is fascinating reading to anyone who has visited -- or plans to visit- the new Israel, as well as to students of the Bible, of history, of civilizations.