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STATE OF TERROR

HOW TERRORISM CREATED MODERN ISRAEL

A relentless, hard-hitting, ultimately one-note polemic.

A chronicle of Zionist sins since the beginning of the “settler project” in the 1920s to the 1956 Suez Crisis.

London-based professional violinist and author Suárez (Palestine Sixty Years Later, 2010, etc.) is careful to first define Zionist “terrorism” before he launches into his systematic, chronological account of how it played out in the Jewish settling of Mandatory Palestine. If terrorism means the violent targeting of civilians, then the “ethno-national movement of Zionism,” which accomplished the appropriation of non-Jewish land over many decades, even if it meant “making life so miserable for [Palestinians] that they [left] ‘of their own accord,’ ” certainly fit the bill. Moreover—and this is where Suárez is most sharply provocative—the early Zionists also targeted Jews themselves, such as pressuring post–World War II displaced persons to settle in Palestine as well as kidnapping Jewish orphans to keep them from being raised Christian. Not surprisingly, the author blames Europe’s Zionist leaders—Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion et al.—for propounding an extraordinary kind of messianism, a biblical Israel that was “not subject to norms applicable to the rest of the world.” Suárez concentrates on the highly organized violence of Hagana splinter groups Irgun and Lehi from 1939 through the founding of the state: both were anti-Palestinian and anti-British. Yet these terrorist groups also targeted Jewish “traitors.” The author emphasizes the anti-Semitic nature of Zionism in creating “a permanent state of emergency” for which a Jewish state in Palestine was the only answer. Eventually, the book becomes a lengthy litany of Zionist terrorist attacks and the employment of “confusion and war weariness” to push for its political objectives, namely to assume all of Palestine and not just what was granted at Partition in late 1947. The author’s theme is that Partition, and thus statehood, was essentially gained by Zionist terrorism.

A relentless, hard-hitting, ultimately one-note polemic.

Pub Date: July 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-56656-068-9

Page Count: 440

Publisher: Olive Branch/Interlink

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 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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NIGHT

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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