PositiveThe New York Times Book Review[This book] is...something more original, more interesting and probably more important than a standard intellectual history would have been ... The six overlapping profiles...tell such an intriguing story ... [Linfield\'s] writing combines the storytelling of a journalist with a scholar’s analysis of ideas. She repeatedly jumps in and argues with her subjects, point by point, giving each chapter the feel at times of a \'Meet the Press\'-type interview occurring across time. If the book has one problem it’s Linfield’s inability to recognize the significance of the document that she herself has produced. She tries to present it, particularly in her tacked-on introduction and conclusion, as foreshadowing and illuminating the tragic deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian coexistence. To be blunt, it doesn’t work.
In fact, its success is in foreshadowing and illuminating a different conflict that has been simmering under the surface for a decade and has exploded into the headlines just in the early months of this year. The Lions’ Den illustrates the individual struggles of Jewish leftists in the World War II generation to reconcile their conflicting impulses, the particularist pull of Zionism and the universalist pull of socialism ... Unexpectedly, her book appears just as its stories and lessons become urgent.\