Page 25 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 11 (1952-1952)

Basic HTML Version

AMERICAN BOOKS ON ZIONISM AND ISRAEL
1951-1952
By
C
a r l
A
l pe r t
HOUGH publishers bemoan the falling off of their business,
and journalistic commentators declare th a t the Jewish public
as stopped reading, and Zionists are still concerned with the
ecline of the movement, the past year has witnessed no decrease
n the number of published books on Israel. The annual prophets
f doom are once more confounded.
The reader should bear in mind, too, th a t the list of books
vailable in this country on the subject is augmented considerably
y additional titles published in Great Britain and Israel. I t may
e confidently expected th a t the la tter particularly will become
n important source of English books designed for the American
eader.
One does note, however, a change in the type of book which is
ow being published. The rash of volumes on Israel in the few
ears immediately following establishment of the s tate dealt for
he most par t with the news events of the moment. There were
ye-witness accounts of the fighting, or thrilling journalistic
eportage based on the headlines. Israel was news, and the drama
f the moment constituted the raw material for the books.
T h a t period has now definitely passed. Only a slight number of
he books in the following bibliography may be classified as
ournalism. Gone, too, is the profusion of books on Zionism — as
movement, as a theory, as a philosophy.
Instead, Israel begins to take its place among the other nations
or more normal treatment in contemporary literature. One
nstance of this “normalcy” is to be found in the increase in works
f fiction dealing directly or indirectly with Israel. The translation
nto English of original Hebrew works from Israel is pa r t of the
ame picture. Further, we find Israel now represented in numerous
istories or regional studies, on a par with other established lands.
he country is treated as an historical and geographical fact, not
s an ephemeral curiosity, and th a t fact, too, is not without its
ignificance.
The absence of juvenile books on Israel is to be regretted. A
ich and fertile source of inspirational and educational material
19