ENCOUNTER WITH THE MIDDLE EAST by Winston Burdett

ENCOUNTER WITH THE MIDDLE EAST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The narrative is freshly circumstantial, the interpretations are forthright: this is one of the most interesting journalistic studies of the 1967 Israeli-Arab conflict. Burdett (a CBS correspondent who covered the fighting from Cairo) is basically pro-Israel but empathetic toward both sides, except for his lamentable ventures into the Arab ""psychic heritage."" He traces the Israeli preventive-war doctrine and Nasser's exploitation of anti-imperialism; does a good job on intra-Arab relations; and describes the Soviet stake in the Syrian regime as a prime catalyst of the June War. Burdett manages to explicate contingencies, miscalculations and options while claiming that Nasser did not stumble into war. With its vignettes (the Soviet ambassador's conferences with Israeli leaders), its primary sources (the trial testimony of the Egyptian war minister) and its characterizations (or, in the case of the Palestine liberation movement's chief, its censures), the book offers fecund potential for adversary dialogue, further exegesis, and general scrutiny of crises' origins and contours.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1969
Publisher: Atheneum