Subtitled Twelve Who Helped Mold Modern Israel, this group biography should hold strong appeal for all who are interested-and concerned -- in perhaps the most dramatic facet of contemporary history, the coming into being of modern Israel. The people St. John has chosen would seem to command this appeal:-Theodor Herzl; Yehuda; Jabotinsky; Henrietta Szold; Weizmann; Rabbi Kook; Edmond de Rothschild; Ord Wingate; Ben-Gurion; Rachel Zelter (this I found the most holding story of the lot); Zivia Habshush. Here we have those who provided the original spur, who financed the beginnings, who built the foundations; we have the man who made Hebrew a living language; we have spiritual and military leaders; we have the underground- the guerrilla leaders; we have non-Jews who dedicated all to the cause; and we end with youth, where the future of Israel lies. Implicit in the story of all these men and women is the whole panorama of the making of Israel. Why then is it not wholly successful? It is, in the first place, very uneven in the writing, some of it almost pedestrian, contrived; in the second place the emphasis seems to be almost more on the conflict and the divergent opinion which was a cancer at the heart of the early building. Few of the characters emerge as all admirable- there is heroic stature evident, though the author claims such stature for many of his He himself has done better by Yehuda and Ben-Gurion elsewhere, for instance. And yet where else could so much about so many be brought together in one place. Herein lies its value.