Page 20 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 7 (1948-1949)

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goodly fellowship of the prophets
by John Paterson (N. Y., Scrib-
ner’s, ’48) contains historical, religious and expository studies.
The Songs of Songs
translated and interpreted as a dramatic
poem by Leroy Waterman (Ann Arbor, University of Michigan
Press, ’48) includes a long and learned introduction and is provided
with interesting textual and critical notes.
HISTORIES OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE
“No body of people can ever have a secure future or a self-
respecting present who do not understand and reverence their
own past,” once said the late Dr. Cyrus Adler. How true these
words are when applied to the Jewish people! A lack of both the
knowledge of Jewish history and an understanding of its processes
have again and again been apparent in those who, at one time or
another, have advocated the total assimilation of Jews with their
non-Jewish neighbors as the best solution of difficult problems
confronting them everywhere. A search for knowledge and inspi-
ration among the records of Jewish experience seems, on the other
hand, to stimulate many who are active in various movements to
keep alive the Jewish people. Dr. Solomon Grayzel’s volume
entitled
A history of the Jews:
from the Babylonian exile to the
end of World War II (Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society
of America, ’47) presents a well-written and authenticated ac-
count of three thousand years or so of continuous Jewish experi-
ence, which takes full cognizance of the material and spiritual
gains as well as of the rich social life which the Jews developed in
every land of their dispersion. Moreover, while describing the
role they have played in the culture of their neighbors it also
furnishes an impressive account of the thought and literature of
the Jews in so far as they are a reflection of their life everywhere.
The many illustrations scattered throughout the volume tend to
enliven its pages and lend a touch of reality to many of the episodes
recorded.
Whoever wishes a hasty glimpse into the events of Jewish life
should turn to the pages of such a warmly-written one-volume
work as
Israel:
a history of the Jewish people by Rufus Learsi
[pseudonym of Israel Goldberg] (N. Y., Behrman, ’48). I t is a
popular presentation of four thousand years of Jewish history
from the time of the Patriarchs to the establishment of the state
of Israel. Illustrated with useful maps it also describes some Jew-
ish customs and practices. Popularly written, but not quite
satisfying, is
Everyman's history of the Jews
by Sulamith Ish-Kishor
(N. Y., Fell, ’48). It, too, endeavors to present within limited
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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL