People in Palestine

People in Palestine

by Olivia Coolidge
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
©1965, Item: 91155
Hardcover, 212 pages
Not in stock

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Olivia Coolidge has written several distinguished collections of short stories dramatizing various aspects of the ancient world. In an historical sense this volume brings events to a climax, for in Palestine under the Caesars the currents of three major cultures were swirling up into a turbulent storm.

Basically there were the Jews, whose austere and deeply spiritualized civilization was dedicated to conserving the ideals and wisdom of ancient times. Overlapping it was the Grecian influence—intellectual, cosmopolitan, fermenting with new ideas. And above all were the Romans, who may have lacked imagination but who wielded the power and had the practicality and single-minded energy to break up the ancient world and set the scene for a new era.

Here then are people in Palestine: a story of a spoiled young Jew from Alexandria who has come to claim his bride only to be caught in the game of Emperors; the blind beggar who gains his sight and loses his means of making a living; the wise rabbi who tricks the villagers into honesty. The stories are varied—some sad, some ironic, some tragic, some touching—yet all revealing of the life of the time.

When the Newbery runner-up, Men of Athens, was first published, Horn Book said of it: "A book of splendid dimensions, notable for mastery of historical matter, a colorful sometimes subtle style, and an intuitive interpretation . . ." Olivia Coolidge is indeed a master storyteller, and People in Palestine contains some of her very best.

—from the dust jacket

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