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And Our Critics Commend

March 23, 1986

The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism, Conor Cruise O'Brien (Simon & Schuster). "It might have been thought that compendious volumes about Israel from 19th-Century Zionism to the present day, in which almost every month was accounted for, had reached saturation, but this judgment should not apply to 'The Siege.' It bears the mark of a restless, original idiosyncratic mind and--more surprisingly--a talent for the patient toil required by meticulous research" (Abba Eban).

My Friends, Emmanuel Bove; Janet Louth (Carcanet) "catches the pathos of vintage films and fictions about wistful plain folk struggling through the hard years between the two world wars. . . . This 50-year-old first novel is as buoyant as fresh bread. It is also sad, funny and engagingly written in short, sober sentences which seem to flow with the ease of everyday talk" (Julia O'Faolain).

Buildings for Music: The Architect, the Musician and the Listener From the 17th Century to the Present Day, Michael Forsyth (MIT). Though more descriptive than critical, more literary than technically rigorous, the book is "a welcome addition to the rather scant literature on a fascinating subject. Its 256 illustrations and generous format give it the character of a picture book, but the text is substantial and neatly conceived by period and theme" (John Pastier).

The Young Hemingway, Michael Reynolds (Basil Blackwell). The author "has taken a number of risks with his prose and with his organization to produce a book that will appeal to readers who may not even care much for Hemingway--the style is so engaging and the social history so pungent" (Jackson J. Benson).

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