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And Our Critics Commend

November 10, 1985

The Street, Israel Rabon, translated by Leonard Wolf (Schocken), "is interesting as a vivid depiction of the spiritual havoc wrought by World War I, seen through the eyes of a Jewish observer for whom all human beings were tragic" (Janet Hadda).

A History of the Human Family, Alex Shoumatoff (Simon & Schuster). "A terrific book that gives contemporary issues of family a prehistory, a history and all sorts of mediating contexts. The effect of (Alex Shoumatoff's) lively and idiosyncratic discussion is to make his subject seem more fascinating than plaguing, more human than personal" (Robert Dawidoff).

Ark for the Uncalled, Vladimir Maximov; Julian Graffy (Quartet). "The setting is the Soviet Union during the chaotic period following World War II. . . . Plagued by suspicion, betrayal, arrests and murder on both sides, men and women exist in constant fear for their lives . . . a powerful novel and a convincing indictment of the Soviet communist ideology as (Vladimir) Maximov sees it" (Martin Dibner).

Love Life, James D. Houston (Knopf) "is a charming novel, an insightful and marvelously fresh examination of a good marriage in sudden disarray" (Taffy Cannon).

The Singing Game, Iona and Peter Opie; Father Damian Webb OSB, photographs (Oxford). "Because its scrupulous historicity is matched by its readability and its joyous specimens, the book is a model of scholarship. And because its subject is children, it is a book of hope" (Peter F. Neumeyer).

The Tree of Life, Hugh Nissenson (Harper & Row). "This small novel works like a laser beam, penetrating the American experience with searing and concentrated intensity. Hugh Nissenson has created a complete world--inhabitants, artifacts, dwellings, customs and behavior. . . . His narrator is Thomas Keene, a New England widower attempting a fresh start in the Western wilderness" (Elaine Kendall).

The Palestinian Liberation Organization: People, Power and Politics, Helena Cobban (Cambridge University); Arafat: Terrorist or Peacemaker?, Alan Hart (Sidgwick & Jackson). "(Helena) Cobban's balanced presentation and her studied objectivity of tone reflect the landmarks of her medium (print) and (Alan) Hart's approach has all the liveliness and drama of a television close-up. These two complementary books are essential reading" (Ibrahim Muhawi).

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