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And Our Critics Commend

January 05, 1986

Contact, Carl Sagan (Simon & Schuster). "The puzzle: If there is a God and He isn't in hiding, He will have left an unambiguous message. What will the message look like? Hint: Who is it He's trying to talk to? Sagan's answer is stunning, and satisfying" (Larry Niven).

Holy Days: The World of a Hasidic Family, Lis Harris (Summit). "Lis Harris' meticulous investigation of the daily life of the Lubavicher Hasidim belongs to the list of distinguished essays that surprise and inform with every phrase, satisfying curiosity without satiating it" (Elaine Kendall).

Wheels for Walking, Sandra Richmond (Atlantic Monthly; age 12 and up). Sally is 18 years old with everything going for her until a car accident severs her spinal cord and leaves her paralyzed from the chest down. "This is contemporary realism with hope, heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, an honest novel with no corners painted out" (Kristiana Gregory).

A History of Religious Ideas, Vol. 3, Mircea Eliade; Alf Hiltebeitel and Diane Apostolos Cappadona (University of Chicago). "It is in our period of global civilization that interest in the field of cross-cultural religious study (and practice) has rightly burgeoned . . . . (Mircea) Eliade's major contribution has been his presentation of deep symbolic themes, of sacred space and time, for instance, drawn from the archaic patterns of human religious thinking, and taken up variously in the great religions" (Ninian Smart).

A Certain People: American Jews and Their Lives Today, Charles E. Silberman (Summit). "This is undoubtedly the best written and the best researched study of the state of American Jewry that we have had in many years" (Jack Riemer).

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