Cheshin and Melamed, onetime aides to former Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek, and Hutman, formerly of the Jerusalem Post, offer a scathing exposÇ of persistent Israeli discriminatory practices against Jerusalem Arabs. Beginning in 1967, immediately after the Six Day War, Israel attempted to present to itself and to the world a portrait of a “united Jerusalem.” Israel’s eloquent spokesman, Abba Eban, then described Jerusalem to the United Nations as a city of “harmonious civic union.” Yet, at the same time, thousands of Israelis began to build housing on land expropriated from the East Jerusalem Arabs, with little regard for their concerns. While Mayor Kollek paid lip service to Arab demands for improved services, his priorities, state the authors, “were the same as those of other Israeli leaders to increase the Jewish presence in all parts of the city as fast as possible, while doing for the Arab residents only what was necessary to keep them placated.” The housing situation became so difficult for Jerusalem Arabs that many of them left for the “suburbs” in the West Bank, only to find themselves cut off from their families in Jerusalem. When the Intifada began to impact the city, the Israelis tried to downplay its violence, attributing the clashes and injuries to a few unruly teenagers. Kollek continued to believe that he could “buy peace and quiet in east Jerusalem by improving services and carrying out public work projects to make the Arabs feel they are being treated fairly.” But the Intifada was a nationalist explosion that the authors tie to years of Israeli inequality regarding basic health, education, and welfare services of its Arab inhabitants. While the book can seem a little shrill at times, the point is well made that Israel could do more for at least those East Jerusalem Arabs who who don—t openly oppose the state, and there is much here that informs the debate on Israel’s ground zero. (4 maps)

Pub Date: May 10, 1999

ISBN: 0-674-80136-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.


“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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