Jerusalem: A History, edited by Jacques Boudet
This lavishly illustrated work, remarkable for its beautiful photogravure and detail, will surely become a collector’s piece. But history has us all by the throat, and books can be overtaken by events no less than nations and armies. This new book on Jerusalem has had a fate similar to that of the last publication of equivalent scope, namely The Jerusalem City Plan by Henry Kendall, published by the mandatory government on the eve of the British withdrawal from Palestine in 1948. That book too gave no hint of the revolutionary changes which, even as it was going to press, were about to engulf the Holy Land. Boudet’s work bears the nihil obstat of a Roman Catholic priest and the imprimatur of a high dignitary of the Cathedral of Westminster dated March 1, 1967, but the publishers only succeeded in getting it out by October, by which time it was as out of date as if the imprimatur had been given in the Middle Ages. For if the history of Jerusalem goes back five thousand years, the decisive phase of that history as far as we now are concerned has occurred in the five months since the war of June 1967. On the other hand, had Dr. Boudet been able to do justice to the events of the last five months, and had he drawn out their full implications, it may be doubted whether the imprimatur would have been forthcoming at all.
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