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A LAND WITHOUT BORDERS

MY JOURNEY AROUND EAST JERUSALEM AND THE WEST BANK

From horror to fatigue to indifference, an important look forward and back that provides a grass-roots sense that one state...

An honest and troubling snapshot of Israel—both Palestinian and Israeli—that reveals the creeping realization that a two-state solution may no longer be possible.

A leftist Israeli journalist and novelist, Baram (Good People, 2016, etc.), who grew up in the 1980s, confronted his own long-held biases by spending an extended length of time penetrating the Green Line (the 1949 demarcation of Israel’s borders) and visiting the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In a series of hard-hitting chapters, he recounts his journeys—to Palestinian refugee camps, Israeli settlements, kibbutzim, and border crossings like Kalandia—underscoring the enormous fatigue that has settled around the Israeli occupation and the essential desire for the Palestinians to enjoy equal rights and move freely within the country. The sad, stunning truth is that most Palestinians and Israelis have no contact with each other. In one telling moment, Baram, while speaking English with a group of Palestinians on a street in Ramallah, attracted the attention of a boy who stared in disbelief, having never met a Jew before. The author worked his way around the West Bank, asking pointed questions that neither side was comfortable answering—e.g., how will the Israelis deal with the Palestinians’ demand for a right to return to the places their forebears were banished from in 1948, even though these same Palestinians have never visited those places or ever called them home? Also, how can the Palestinians believe in peace with the Israelis after “all the killings, the land grabs, the imprisonments, the checkpoints”? To get a better sense of what the future may hold, Baram spoke with prickly settlers (“as far as they are concerned, the battle has already been won”), former prisoners of the Israelis now aiming to fulfill their lives, and tense worshipers (of both faiths) at the Al-Aqsa Temple Mount.

From horror to fatigue to indifference, an important look forward and back that provides a grass-roots sense that one state needs to satisfy sovereignty for all.

Pub Date: April 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-925355-22-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Text

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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