Page 32 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 9 (1950-1951)

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J EW I S H BOOK ANNUAL
24
nution in the past year of picture books, which have been notor-
iously poor sellers. The Riwkin-Brick volume, published by World,
was actually printed in Sweden, and the sheets imported. Simon
and Schuster has combined Irwin Shaw’s text with Robert Capa’s
pictures, and may do better than Ziff-Davis did last year with
the Van Paassen-Sonnenfeld combination. Israel is now publishing
and exporting to this country a new series of four picture books,
the first two of which,
Israel Reborn
and
Chaim Weizmann
, are
already available. Americans may buy pictures of babies, French-
men and animals, but they do not as yet buy pictures of Israel.
Most of this year’s books are either openly friendly to Israel
or strictly objective. A few exceptions are virulent. Prof. Burrows’
Palestine is Our Business
is honestly anti-Zionist, and plays every
political card in the deck. Mrs. Ethridge, on the other hand, hides
behind an implied friendship for Zion and from this vantage point
distorts truths in her
Going to Jerusalem.
Her book is a humorous
travelogue, and all the more disarming because it is written with
cleverness and wit.
American readers have waited a long time for English transla-
tions from the great literary works of Israel. In 1937 we were
offered S. J. Agnon’s
Bridal Canopy
; in 1948 Ari Ibn Zahav’s
Jessica My Daughter
was somewhat more successful. This past
season Schocken has published a translation of
Maagalot
, the con-
troversial Maletz novel on kibbutz life which rocked Israel when
it appeared a few years ago. It is reported that the book, known
in English as
Young Hearts
, has been kept out of print in Israel
by the outraged response of the kibbutzim. Certainly not a great
book, and according to American technical specifications, im-
perfect as a novel,
Young Hearts
nevertheless represents an addi-
tional step forward.
One would imagine that this season hit the high point of books
on Israel. Yet preliminary reports indicate more to come, and
the names of Ruth Gruber, Thomas Sugrue, Daniel Spicehandler
and others are already being mentioned as authors of forthcoming
volumes. The publishers apparently retain confidence in Israel
as a topic of interest.
B
a k e r
, N
i n a
B
r o w n
.
Next year
i n
Jerusalem, the story of Theodor Herzl. New
York, Harcourt , Brace, 1950. 186 p.
A “ fictionalized” but authentic biography, suitable also for adolescents;
a readable and faithful account.
B
e n
- J
a c o b
, J
e r e m i a h
.
The rise of Israel. New York, Grosby, 1949. 217
p .
A quick review of the history of Zionism and an appraisal of Israel as ful-
fillment of the movement.
B
l o o m f i e l d
, B
e r n a r d
M. Israel diary. New York, Crown, 1950. 182 p.
The straight-forward day-to-day glowing account of a Canadian business-
man ’s reactions in Israel.