An exceptionally good history of Israel by a Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sheffield. The book begins with the turn-of, the-century collapse of Eastem European Jewry's existence, and the earliest Jewish settlers in Palestine, who much resembled the French plantation colonizers in Algeria. The second wave of immigration brought a semi-socialistic and proto-nationalistic spirit with the pioneer youth and the paradoxes they found in trying to ban cheap Arab labor. Lucas combines a dry detachment with a close knowledge of economic aspects and internal politics, a combination rarely found in such studies. He shows the lack of unanimity around Ben-Gurion's idea of statehood -- or even around the idea of a national centralized army. The leftists tended toward an accommodation with the Arabs on the first question, while the right feared a mass citizens' army as a potential threat to property. The book also provides a useful map of the Haganah, the Palm. ach, the Irgun, and the Stem Gang (Lucas asserts that Abraham Stern himself wanted to make a deal with Hitler to help the latter conquer Palestine in 1940 if he would release Jews). The ArabIsraeli wars are coolly and briefly described; more striking are the military-governmental intrigues, including intricate discussions of the two Lavon. Ben-Gurion affairs, and the post-1948 arrival of masses of non-Zionist refugees, which helped justify the Mapai affirmation of clear, pro-capitalist social democracy. Lucas succeeds in making the Israelis into an actual, evolving, heterogeneous group instead of an emotional construct, providing an excellent basis for the inevitable polemical discussions.