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Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel Hardcover – October 1, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"There is no dearth of loathing in this book... there is much truth in its gruesome vignettes of modern Israeli hypernationalism in action..."
David Shulman, The New York Review of Books

"[A] bold, personal and unapologetic book."
Salon

"Goliath is a particular kind of exposé-minded, documentary-broadside journalism whose place we generally recognize and respect... Blumenthal has made a sobering prima facie case that there are extreme forces [within Israel’s current political-social dynamics] to be aware of, and reckoned with more fully than American discourse usually does."
James Fallows, The Atlantic

"Goliath is...an important book. Whereas others have pierced the myth of Israel as a besieged beacon of democracy, Blumenthal punches a hole through it....In the face of such moral bleakness, Blumenthal does offer moments of hope, most notably in the stories of everyday Palestinian and Jewish heroes and heroines who populate the book."
Nadia Hijab, The Nation

"As he did in Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, in which Blumenthal swam in America's far-right sea to see what he might find, in this book he dives deep into Israel's far right, spending chapter after chapter letting the extremist partisans of modern Israel speak for themselves."
The Middle East Policy Council

Goliath…shows in forensic detail the reality of the Israeli mainstream’s embrace blatant racism against Arabs and Africans.”
The Guardian

"[A] heart stopper... Goliath is a threat to the Israeli status quo...because it tells too many inconvenient truths."
Larry Gross, Director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication

"Max Blumenthal’s Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel is the most important political and investigative journalist book of 2013."
TarheelDem, Firedoglake Reader Diaries

"[A] bold and shocking book, presenting persuasively a major theoretical and polemical argument about Israel almost completely at odds with the image most Americans have of it... Even those generally well-informed about Israel and its occupation of the Palestinian territories will have their views challenged by Blumenthal’s sharp eye and deadpan factual presentations."
The American Conservative

"[A] scathing critique of the Jewish State... Supporters of Israel should be encouraged to read this book...As Israel’s greatest supporters, American Jews who care at all about the future of the country need to understand what’s happening within the borders."
The New York Observer

"[O]ne of the most fearless and honest books ever written about Israel."
Chris Hedges

"I would like to send a copy [of Goliath] to every Jew I know...This is the sort of book that even if you want to diss it, you can't dismiss it."
Charles H. Manekin, Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Center of Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland

"Blumenthal’s new book offers an unflinching look at the racist reality of Israel that America’s establishment media simply does not have the guts to confront."
Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada

"Brave reporting of a sad, even tragic tale. Makes me wish he wrote for the New York Times."
Stephen Walt, Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government

"Erudite, hard-hitting, [Goliath has] the potential to influence American public opinion on Israel..."
Rayyan Al-Shawaf, Mondoweiss

"[Blumenthal is] genuinely interested in the truth, and knows that the truth in politics often lurks in those dark caves of viciousness... [Goliath is] the kind of book that you just open to any chapter and quickly get a sense of both the particular and the whole. You'll find yourself instantly immersed in an engrossing family romance-one part tender, one part train-wreck-and wish you had the entire day to keep reading. Put it down, and pick it up the next day, and you'll have the exact same feeling."
Corey Robin, associate professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center

"A rich, roiling examination of 'the State of Israel during a period of deepening political and societal crisis' ... Blumenthal is an enterprising reporter."
Kirkus Reviews

“Brash, gritty, personal and close to the ground, this is a report from an Israel and a Palestine we seldom see in the mainstream media. The sharp-edged scenes and portraits in this disturbing book shows why the chances for lasting peace in the region have gone from bad to worse.”
Adam Hochschild

"Armed with a critic's eye and a sharp pen, Blumenthal sets out to document what he regards as the fulfillment of Yeshayahu Leibowitz's darkest prophecy regarding the Israeli occupation. Exposure to the impressions from his journey through the Land of Israel-Palestine might be outrageous, unsettling, often heart wrenching. But those who fear for the image of this land would be well advised to respond to the challenge and to deal with his flowing descriptions of the struggles he witnessed and of the brave souls he met in one of the most divided and conflict-ridden places in the world."
Akiva Eldar

Goliath lifts the carefully maintained veil concealing the reality of Israel as it actually is today, a reality that is elided in most reportage from the region… Blumenthal's book is packed with remarkable vignettes illustrating the dangerous path Israel is currently following.”
Rashid Khalidi

"It is about time someone wrote this book. Anyone who thinks he knows what is happening in Israel and its occupied territories will think again after reading this great work."
Charles Glass

“The only worthwhile, honest discussion of Israel can come from someone who possesses two attributes: fearlessness and expertise. Max Blumenthal wields both in abundance, and the result is an eye-opening and stunningly insightful book about the dramatic plight of a country central to America's political fortunes.”
Glenn Greenwald

"Max Blumenthal lays bare in rich and riveting detail the full, shocking scope and virulence of a cancer, both institutional and popular, which, unchecked, will surely do more to destroy Israel from within than its enemies — essentially of its own racist and colonialist making too — from without."
David Hirst

"Goliath is...an important book. Whereas others have pierced the myth of Israel as a besieged beacon of democracy, Blumenthal punches a hole through it....In the face of such moral bleakness, Blumenthal does offer moments of hope, most notably in the stories of everyday Palestinian and Jewish heroes and heroines who populate the book."—Nadia Hijab, The Nation

About the Author

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author whose articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Guardian, The Independent Film Channel, The Huffington Post, Salon.com, Al Jazeera English and many other publications. His book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party, was a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller. He blogs at maxblumenthal.com
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; 1St Edition edition (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568586345
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568586342
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (365 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

691 of 798 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Olson on September 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been following Israeli news and politics and visiting the region for ten years, so there was little in this book that was fundamentally new to me. But for anyone who didn't have time to keep up with the evolution of Israeli culture and politics over the last several years, this book is an excellent (and grimly entertaining) way to catch up.

An increasingly proudly racist segment of Israeli society has become mainstreamed and acceptable, saying things about Palestinians (or rather 'Arabs,' since they won't deign to use the word 'Palestinian') that would make any Jim Crow partisan cringe with shame, kicking Bedouin off of land they have lived on for generations and into ghettos/reservations simply because they are not Jewish, forming vigilante groups to keep Jewish women from dating Arab men, and marching provocatively through Muslim neighborhoods in shows of force, contempt, and intimidation.

And this is in Israel proper. In the Palestinian territories, the situation is even more dire. From "price tag" operations to rabbis who advocate the killing of non-Jewish children, it's a parallel universe, a parade of horrors of blind hatred and violence likened in many cases to "pogroms" even in the Israeli press.

When the vast majority of the Jewish Israeli public supported the grisly, pointless slaughter of Operation Cast Lead, it was truly a new low. The US government supports the Israeli government and its policies to the tune of $8 million every day, yet the American press tells us virtually nothing about these trends.

There are good people and great activists in Israel doing terrific and genuine work toward peace. But to understand what they are really up against -- not to mention what the Palestinians are up against -- this is an important book to read and an important set of realities to understand.
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310 of 359 people found the following review helpful By K. Boulos on October 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From the moment I received this book I wasn't able to put it down. It's made up of short succinct chapters, each of which is a snapshot of Israeli society and politics, interwoven with deeply personal and human stories, historical background, and on the ground investigative journalism. While there are hundreds of books telling us about the how and the what of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this book talks about something that nobody touches upon in mainstream discourse, the WHY. Max Blumenthal steps deep into the belly of Israeli society and thoroughly documents the racism, fanaticism, religious fundamentalism, greed, violence, and hysteria that animates the state and its institutions. Once you understand these aspects of Israeli society, understanding the political, demographic and geographic dimensions of the conflict becomes a simple matter of logic.

I doubt that many of the one star reviewers actually read this book. This is evidenced by the fact that most of them use a single template of first attacking the author then trying to scare people away from buying the book (a really desperate tactic). But there are those that did read the book and I think their reviews are completely understandable. If your worldview necessitates a belief that Israel is inherently righteous, facts to the contrary are deeply disturbing. The cognitive dissonance of seeing these facts (full references are provided for everything in the book) and trying to square that with your faith in Israeli righteousness must be a nightmare.
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353 of 412 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Epstein on October 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Contrary to what partisans may assume--and, for those who don't actually read this masterful book, will likely tell others in all-caps and insults--Max Blumenthal has entered the world of Israeli politics with eyes wide-opened, valuing rigorous and fair-minded reportage over judgement and aspersion. Mostly, he let's his subjects speak. And what they say is deeply disturbing.

Operating within the space carved out by liberal Zionists who also worry about the "demographic problem," large and growing segments of the Israeli right have become proto-fascist. I do not say this lightly. But from the slew of anti-democratic laws, street harassment of Arabs, immigrants, and dissidents, racist fear-mongering as a matter of routine political practice, and the repression of an already compliant media, this is the only rational conclusion one can draw.

The brilliance of "Goliath" is not that Blumenthal tells us this frightening conclusion; he vividly shows us.

I cannot more highly recommend this book.
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242 of 291 people found the following review helpful By Anais on October 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My best friend growing up was from Israel. Her argument for Zionism resonated with me deeply. Who can argue that Jews are not amongst the most persecuted and 'otherized' people on the planet? The strength of her argument fell to ruin upon my first trip to Israel in the late nineties.To not see apartheid in Israel is simply to not see Israel at all.

A large part of my education on this issue has been due to the unrelenting, truth telling of journalist Max Blumenthal. That education continues with the reading of Goliath. If you seek comfort in the lies of the Likud, and indeed the lies of our very own government- then this book is not for you. If your agenda is to support the ethnic cleansing of a people in the name of a 'Jews only' state - then this book is not for you.

If you wish to delve into the heart of darkness that shapes the pervasive nature of racism - read Max's book.
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