This is an important book, clarifying as it does many of the misconceptions that have clouded the issues relating to the very existence of Israel. To anyone concerned, to anyone who has visited Israel or plans to visit it, the text -- despite its length and meticulously detailed recording of campaigns, battles, skirmishes, strategy and so on- is almost constantly interesting. But it demands some initial involvement, sympathy, understanding. There are to be numerous maps, which will be essential to following the intricacies of shifting fronts and the difficult and unfamiliar place names. It is a military history, from the tensions prior to the British evacuation, the strain of the period when various propositions for determining the boundaries were considered, rejected or accepted, the chaos when evacuation was finally achieved- on through the Arab invasions by five armies, supported by guerrilla fighters inside Israel -- to the defeat of the Egyptian army, the failures of other Arab armies, the creation of the Arab refugee problem. The thing that distinguishes the text from the average military history is the lively sense of pace and adventure in recounting what is probably the most dramatic, unbelievable record of a whole people walking ""high- heartedly amid danger with a zest for life which is contagious"". This zest embues Israel today and this book helps one understand how it can be so.