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How to Cure a Fanatic Hardcover – February 5, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Oz, one of Israel's foremost novelists and also a leader in the peace movement, sets up opposite poles—pragmatism and fanaticism—in the two essays in this thin (both in size and content) volume. Pragmatism is Oz's path to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Writing in ardent, articulate and informal prose (the essays originated as lectures), Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness) writes that this conflict is a straightforward, though intense, battle over real estate in which both sides have legitimate claims to one tiny piece of land. And the necessary compromise—in the form of two states, "divided roughly according to demographic realities"—will be deeply painful for both, the loss of land a kind of amputation, in Oz's words. Also crucial to peace, in Oz's view, is providing homes and jobs for the residents of the squalid Palestinian refugee camps. But how to convince the anti-compromise fanatics on both sides? On this score, Oz is less satisfying, suggesting the remedial value of humor and imagination (i.e., learning to really see the other). The book's third part, an interview with Princeton University Press's Brigitta van Rheinberg, is largely redundant, leaving this feeling more like a padded pamphlet than a book, despite the virtues of Oz's perspective. (Mar.)
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Review

"This little volume (4" x 6") . . . is lucid, rational, and constructive. . . . This small book embodies so much realism and optimism."--Elizabeth R. Hayford, Library Journal



"The burning issues of the Arab-Israeli dispute are grist for Israeli novelist Amos Oz's slim volume, How to Cure a Fanatic, which is never less than thought-provoking."--Canadian Jewish News



"Amos Oz sets out to wrest the conflict from its ideological and religious participants, from those on both sides whose symbiotic desire to elevate or sanctify the conflict renders it ever more immune to reasonable resolution. This is pursued in two short, gently-crafted essays."--Ben Harris, Jewish Journal



"This pocket-size book is an important read. Whether you want to agree with him or rail against him, you can't ignore Oz."--Suzi Brozman, Atlanta Jewish Times

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (February 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691126690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691126692
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 4.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,170,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Amos Oz was born in Jerusalem in 1939. He is the author of fourteen novels and collections of short fiction, and numerous works of nonfiction. His acclaimed memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness was an international bestseller and recipient of the prestigious Goethe prize, as well as the National Jewish Book Award. Scenes from Village Life, a New York Times Notable Book, was awarded the Prix Méditerranée Étranger in 2010. He lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Amos Oz's two short essays are full of valuabe insights into the mindset of a fanatic in general, as well as into just and effective ways to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Coming from an insider in every sense of the word, it is very refreshing to read his opinion that the conflict "is not a religious war, although the fanatics on both sides are trying very hard to turn it into one" but simply a "real-estate dispute". Oz is able to put things into perspective without resorting to hiding behind obscure depictions of the conflict as predominantly a clash of religions/civilizations, or worse, of vile anti-semitism. His message is all the more valuable because he is an insider.

His ideas about the necessity of injecting imagination, as well as a sense of humor, in the mind of a fanatic, provide an interesting, and possibly effective way of loosening up the rigid mould of a fanatic mind. His "Order of the teaspoon" is a fascinating concept (I'm in), but I won't elaborate on it so you'd find out for yourselves!

If only politicians would consult with novelists like Oz, our world would be a much, much better place!
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Format: Hardcover
I usually do not find books written by Israelis or Palestinians about past or present events in the land whose very name is a matter of perspective and politics to be very interesting or enlightening. The authors usually either have an agenda or are engaging in pure propaganda. This book (along with David Grossman's "Death as a Way of Life") is a rare exception.

In lucid, eloquent and sensitive language, Oz presents the situation and the necessary cures not for Israelis, not for Palestinians, but for human beings. If you do not like this book, you are probably a fanatic, and not subject to logical persuasion.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Whoever has followed the Israeli-Palestinian agonies must read this realistic and informed view of what must be done. His writing , as always, is lucid, expressive, and deep.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although the author's focus is on Israel and Palestine, the ideas he brings out have much broader application, to our own lives as well as to bigger conflicts. His description of fanatics could be of American parents or husbands or wives or political commentators. Everyone should read this book!
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By AG on January 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love the writings of Amos Oz.
This book is probably the one I liked best.
It is a small book, and makes very easy reading.
I believe Mr. Oz is very naive when he thinks they can really have Peace in the Middle East. He is overly optimistic in my opinion.
However I recommend this book.
Hope every Israeli and Arab would read this book!
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Format: Paperback
It looks very much like Amos Oz is paid for writing this drivel. Where did he get the idea that the Arabs will ever consent to the existence of a Jewish state in any borders? The Israeli leaders are absolutely right not to allow a Palestinian state to ever come through b/c if it did, there would be no Israel. The Palestinian charter calls for the annihilation of the Jewish state; their clergy and teachers preach it every day at schools and mosques; their citizens are taught to hate Jews and kill them at every opportunity. If such a state were to materialize, just like every state, it would have an army and weapons, their mission would become to have a total war against Israel for its elimination. As of now, Israel is certainly much stronger than the Palestinian entity but it doesn't use its strenght to put them down. Instead, it provides them with jobs, social services, education, etc. It's blood money that Mr. Oz is making by writing this and betraying Israel.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the most concise, fair-minded, and eloquent statements I have encountered on the tragic situation in the Middle East. It cuts through all the distractions to reveal the heart of the issue. I have read it more than once, because it has the effect of clearing the mind of all the obfuscations that interfere with a clear-eyed, imaginative, and compassionate response to the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like in such a question the movement from general to individual experience and if that individual is a great writer I listen very carefully. In the end I said : Thank you Amos for you human way of treating this real great sensible problem.
Henk J. Huyser Aigne France
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