Sacred Geography: A Tale of Murder and Archeology in the Holy Land

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Abstract Editorial Reviews From Publishers Weekly In 1994, British writer Fox, whose pieces appear in the London Times and other leading papers, stumbled upon a reference to an obscure incident in a footnote to an article in the Journal of Palestine Studies: On Jan. 19, 1992, Albert Glock, an American archeologist excavating in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, had been shot to death by an unknown assailant. The note's suggestion that Glock's death had come at the hands of an Israeli hit squad raised deep questions for Fox: Why would an Israeli hit squad kill an American archeologist? Why was an American teaching at Palestinian Birzeit University? Did his apparent Palestinian sympathies have anything to do with his death? Fox thus begins an investigation that takes him not only to the heart of the Israel-Palestine struggle, but also to the very contentious field of archeology. Fox discovers that early in his career, Glock had decided not to use excavations as a way to confirm biblical history like much of the archeological establishment but instead to aid Palestinians in recovering their antiquities. Glock was thus viewed with suspicion by his professional colleagues as well as by Palestinians, many of whom believed that this outsider had come to steal their valuable relics. Fox interviews both Israeli and Palestinian officials as he searches for clues about Glock's murder. In the end, he knows little more than he did when he began, and to date, the murder remains unsolved. But Fox presents a spellbinding detective story, a fascinating account of the contentious nature of archeology in the Holy Land, and a sad but compelling look at Israeli-Palestinian relations. 8 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. (Nov. 6) Forecast: Holt will promote this in the religion press and will shoot for national media appearances and widespread reviews. Handselling will help this first-rate whodunit as will the hot topic of archeology in the Middle East. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. From Library Journal In the Holy Land, the boundaries separating archaeology, faith, and politics are blurred at best and indistinguishable at worst. This was the underlying dilemma facing Fox, a London-based journalist who has written for the Independent, the Sunday Telegraph, and the Times, when he attempted to investigate the 1992 murder of American archaeologist Albert Glock in the Occupied Territories. For centuries, different groups have used the archaeology of this region to support their own claims. As Fox writes, "One saw what one wanted to see in the sparse facts available," and he quickly came to realize that the same was true of the sparse facts surrounding Glock's death. Sacred Geography is divided into two parts. The first, unfortunately longer, section describes the events, characters, history, and political climate that lead up to Glock's murder. This background is necessary but less engaging than Fox's account in the second part of his efforts to investigate the crime. Here the narrative comes alive as the reader is drawn into a maze of the competing political, academic, and religious views that characterize the troubled region. Suitable for larger public libraries. Shauna Rutherford, Univ. of Calgary, Alberta Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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  • Edward Fox

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