Picks and Pans Review: In the Land of Light

updated 11/14/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/14/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

Photographs by Rodney Smith

Arabs, Bedouins, Armenians, Yemenites, Hasidic Jews, Druze—the faces of the Middle East are remarkable because there are almost no smiles. These people look into the camera, and it is a confrontation. The photographer, who has taught at Yale, writes: "There is something about being face to face with someone that is necessary for my life. There is much in the world that terrifies me, so I need to get close to people—to reach out." The photographs were taken in Israel during a three-month period when Smith was a guest of the Jerusalem Foundation. The stark, sharp photos are beautifully reproduced, each framed by wide white margins. As Elie Wiesel says in his introduction, "These men and women, these boys and girls, thrust forward onto the stage of history—they are the ones who, without knowing it, provide us with the one human justification without which it would be impossible to raise ourselves above defeat and tears." (Houghton Mifflin, $40)

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