Jericho: Dreams, Ruins, Phantoms

Robert Ruby, Author Henry Holt & Company $25 (350p) ISBN 978-0-8050-2799-0
While bureau chief for the Baltimore Sun in Jerusalem for five years during the turmoil of the Palestinian intifada, Ruby rented a little house from a friend in Jericho for occasional getaways. The city he found was a dusty, crumbling place where, in temperatures of over 100 degrees, it ``looked heat-stroked and in deep slee.... Nothing seemed capable of movement.'' Instead of biblical castles, he encountered enclaves of stucco houses, weedy yards, sheep idling in roadways-an ``overheated basement of the world.'' After digging into accounts of 19th-century British colonists, he was led deeper into the history of the place: archeological discoveries; migrations of Muslims, Christians, Judeans, Canaanites; battles; floods; rebuildings-all of it, in his view, a significant backdrop to the present upheavals in the lives of his neighbors, which he weaves into his illuminating account. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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