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From the PublisherLibrary Journal
Looking at these 180 mesmerizing photographs is a time-transcending experience. They succeed in evoking the Holy Land of centuries ago. Only occasional images (like the stylish attire of Jewish women and children at the Wailing Wall) bring the viewer back from the poverty and daily toil associated with traditional ways of living. The photographers of the Matson Photo Agency of Jerusalem's American Colony took these pictures in the early 20th century, and Ari Speelman, a Dutch Christian enthralled with the Holy Land after visiting, ordered 1200 lantern slides (on glass plates) to be hand painted for shows throughout Holland before World War II. Authors Hardiman (Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem) and Speelman, an artist and granddaughter of Ari Speelman, relate the engrossing story of the Christian expatriate American colony. The book focuses on landscape views of geographical areas related to biblical verses (e.g., the Jordan River and the Dead Sea) and on the people, including Muslims and Bedouins. Because it documents a part of the world to which people of different faiths relate, this is recommended for all public libraries, to be shelved in the religion, travel, or photography sections.