Page 37 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 6 (1947-1948)

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27
BLOCH ---- THE YEAR ’S BOOKSHELF
(New York, 1946). I t is more than merely a handy, historical
survey of the Zionist movement: it is a readable history of the
conscious Jewish effort to normalize Jewish life since the revolt of
Bar Kochba. Originally published in London in 1945, the book
has been considerably revised and provided with an introduction
and supplementary chapter on the progress of Zionism in America
by Bernard G. Richards, which, by the way, represents the first
rapid survey of the subject. The significant British period under
the Mandate forms a major section, with animadversions on
future problems. While facts and figures comprise essential his-
torical matter, the book transmits, in a measure, the warmth, the
color and the emotional intensity of the Zionist movement.
Tha t emotional intensity and its contagious effect upon youth
is admirably conveyed in the pages of
Hechalutz
,
builders and
fighters
(New York, Hechalutz Organization of America, 1946)
which contains an account of the spread of the Hechalutz (pioneer-
ing for Palestine) movement in America with emphasis on the
duty to help in the reconstruction of the Jewish National Home.
Most of the book is devoted to the role of the Halutzim-fighters
in the revolt of the Warsaw ghetto and other places as well as to
their activities as partisans behind the enemy lines. After the
continuous stream of grim reports which tended to overshadow
the heroic stand of Polish Jewry by stressing the great martyrdom,
it is heartening to have this favorable account of Polish Jewry.
I t is a “White Book” on “ guerilla” tactics of Polish Jews under
the German occupation. I t is a hair-raising account of bravery
and martyrdom, of self-sacrifice and of undying hope for the
establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Jewish bravery
in Palestine is also dealt with in the pamphlet
Hagana\
a history
of Jewish resistance [by M. Z. Frank] (New York, 1947). I t is
the first of the ZOA pamphlet series issued by the Zionist Organi-
zation of America designed to offer authentic information on
aspects of Zionism and Palestine.
Palestine is also the subject of the
Promised land
, described and
photographed by Ellen [Kolban] Thorbecke; with an introduction
by W. J. R. Thorbecke (New York, Harper, 1947). I t is an inter-
esting book in which photographs, colored sketches and diagrams
are artfully combined with text designed to unfold the country’s
life story through the ages and today. The places holy to Chris-
tians, Jews and Moslems are shown and described as are the new
industrial, agricultural and cultural achievements of Jewish
Palestine, especially the communal settlements. I t presents an
effective interpretation of a country on which the eyes of the
world are focused.
Palestine seems to assume a more significant place in juvenile