A cleareyed study that sounds a serious alarm for the future of Israel—a must for any library’s collection on the conflict.

MYTHOLOGIES WITHOUT END

THE US, ISRAEL, AND THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT, 1917-2020

Evenhanded summary of Arab-Israeli relations since the beginning of the Zionist settlements 100 years ago.

“For the past fifty years,” writes Slater, a retired political science professor, “I have been studying, teaching, and writing about Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict, and have many close connections in that country.” In this highly valuable contribution to the subject, the author combs secondary sources—he does not read Hebrew but notes that most studies are translated immediately into English—offering a "work of synthesis and interpretation of the existing literature." Slater is especially influenced by the so-called new historians such as Ilan Pappé, Benny Morris, and Avi Shlaim, and he essentially provides a systematic refutation of Abba Eban's famously snide 1973 comment: “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” As Slater points out, along with Israeli aggression in the region, the U.S. has become a willing and noncritical ally. The author first debunks the myths that both Israel and the U.S. have long held regarding the founding of Israel—e.g., the "underdog" argument, the religious argument, and "Arab intransigence" argument, among others. Writing about the nature of Zionism, he shows that, “despite the Israeli mythology, the evidence is irrefutable that [David] Ben-Gurion and other Zionist leaders were not willing to compromise over Palestine and therefore 'accepted' the 1947 UN partition plan only as a temporary tactic to gain time until Israel was strong enough to take over all of Palestine." Moving meticulously through the many relevant conflicts—1948, 1956, 1967, the Cold War, and wars with Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt—to the present, the author argues convincingly that Israeli officials have often worked from a policy of deliberate provocation. Slater concludes with the Trump plan, which makes a two-state solution nearly impossible.

A cleareyed study that sounds a serious alarm for the future of Israel—a must for any library’s collection on the conflict.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-19-045908-6

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

NIGHT

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

Did you like this book?

A well-documented and enlightened portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt for our times.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

ELEANOR

A LIFE

A comprehensive exploration of one of the most influential women of the last century.

The accomplishments of Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) were widespread and substantial, and her trailblazing actions in support of social justice and global peace resonate powerfully in our current moment. Her remarkable life has been extensively documented in a host of acclaimed biographies, including Blanche Wiesen Cook’s excellent three-volume life. Eleanor was also a highly prolific writer in her own right; through memoirs, essays, and letters, she continuously documented experiences and advancing ideas. In the most expansive one-volume portrait to date, Michaelis offers a fresh perspective on some well-worn territory—e.g., Eleanor’s unconventional marriage to Franklin and her progressively charged relationships with men and women, including her intimacy with newspaper reporter Lorena Hickok. The author paints a compelling portrait of Eleanor’s life as an evolving journey of transformation, lingering on the significant episodes to shed nuance on her circumstances and the players involved. Eleanor’s privileged yet dysfunctional childhood was marked by the erratic behavior and early deaths of her flighty, alcoholic father and socially absorbed mother, and she was left to shuttle among equally neglectful relatives. During her young adulthood, her instinctual need to be useful and do good work attracted the attention of notable mentors, each serving to boost her confidence and fine-tune her political and social convictions, shaping her expanding consciousness. As in his acclaimed biography of Charles Schulz, Michaelis displays his nimble storytelling skills, smoothly tracking Eleanor’s ascension from wife and mother to her powerfully influential and controversial role as first lady and continued leadership and activist efforts beyond. Throughout, the author lucidly illuminates the essence of her thinking and objectives. “As Eleanor’s activism evolved,” writes Michaelis, “she did not see herself reaching to solve social problems so much as engaging with individuals to unravel discontinuities between the old order and modernity.”

A well-documented and enlightened portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt for our times.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4391-9201-6

Page Count: 704

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more