Books by Mitch Frank

Released: April 1, 2005

This very balanced presentation of the historical background to and causes of the age-old enmity between the two groups is suited to older students and adult readers alike. Frank's account, laid out in a question-and-answer format, is clearly written but not simplistic. He discloses truths and the misconceptions that each side has about the other, and he finds fault on both sides as well. Readers will have no trouble understanding from this intelligent work that both groups have ample reason to lay deep historic, religious and ethnic claims to the small plot of land that is Israel and that there is justification for their various demands. The author, a reporter for Time, backs up his arguments about each side's plight and profound distrust for the other with solid, unemotional, focused writing. Teachers, take note: This is an excellent springboard to current-events discussions. (maps, glossary, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 12+)Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2002

So often when big events occur, a flurry of articles appears in the newspapers, and when the reader feels the need for more background information—more context—it's too late; it's old news. This is an important volume for students and adult, because it provides that context. After several months of headlines, on-the-spot reports, news specials, and human-interest stories, many readers will crave a work such as this. Exactly what is al Qaeda? What is Islam? Why does the Middle East matter to us? Who are the Taliban? Why did we go after Afghanistan? Who is Osama bin Laden? These are some of the questions answered in this clearly written, straightforward report by Frank, a reporter for Time magazine. It supplies solid information, maps, photographs, and many sidebars with statistics, further information, and historical context. One detail, unfortunately, trivializes the account of the terrorism efforts: "When the Taliban had taken power, they had searched for all the television sets in the country and smashed them. Now Afghan men dug up TVs and VCRs they had buried in their backyards. One Afghan popped in a hidden copy of Titanic and sat down to watch." Clearly a Western perspective: fighting terrorism to make the world safe for the American movie industry. Otherwise, this report provides thorough information for a study of 9/11 or for looking up information on specific aspects of the story. (glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12+)Read full book review >