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War Without End: Israelis, Palestinians, and the Struggle for a Promised Land First Edition Edition

20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0312276690
ISBN-10: 0312276699
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Editorial Reviews Review

In 1905, an Arab journalist and Ottoman official observed that two important phenomena were rising in the corners of the Turkish Empire: the awakening of Arab nationalism and efforts by European immigrants to found a Jewish state in Palestine. "Both of these movements are destined to fight each other continually," he concluded, "until one of them wins." So it has seemed, and the title of British journalist Anton La Guardia's book speaks volumes: for the last century, when the children of the Diaspora began to return in numbers to Palestine, two visions of that "promised land" have battled for supremacy, with no apparent resolution in sight--as witness the daily headlines. La Guardia charts the origins and course of the long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, remarking that much of it owes to all-too-human causes (the humiliation of the Arabs over having been defeated so often and so decisively in five decades of warfare; the mutual hatred of Arafat and Sharon) and offering thoughts from both sides on how peace might be reached, short of the annihilation of one or the other combatant. Those who themselves struggle to comprehend the news from the Middle East will find La Guardia to be a reliable, illuminating guide. --Gregory McNamee

From Publishers Weekly

British journalist Anton La Guardia, diplomatic editor for the Daily Telegraph and for eight years its Middle East correspondent, offers an informed and objective history of the Middle East battles in War Without End: Israelis, Palestinians, and the Struggle for a Promised Land. Tracing the Zionist movement back to its 19th-century roots, as well as the birth of national identity of the Palestinians among whom the Zionists settled, La Guardia offers general readers a balanced background to what many fear may well be a war without end.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (June 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312276699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312276690
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,019,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on August 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Journalist Anton La Guardia spent most of the 1990s in Israel as a reporter, much like Thomas Friedman spent most of the 1980s in the Middle East before writing his masterpiece "From Beruit to Jerusalem." There are important similarities and differences between the two books. Whereas Friedman's book examined the broader perspective of Middle East politics, "War Without End" is concerned exclusively with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Addtionally, while Firedman's book used history as a backdrop for a telling of his own experiences, La Guardia's book concentrates on historical writing punctuated only occasionally by his first person accounts.
That said, La Guardia has produced an excellent one volume history of the conflict. He sets the stage by explianing the origins of Zionism and of the European anti-Semetism that caused it to gain force. He then gives an overview the history of the Ottoman and British rule over Palestine, the 1948 UN Mandate and Israeli War for Independence, and the subsequent Arab-Israeli conflicts. After this, the rest of the book is devoted to the many conflicts between the Israelis and the Palenstinians as well as the internal conflicts between various factions within Israel and of the ineptitude of the PLO leadership. La Guardia gives a balanced account, and is critical of the excesses and mistakes committed by both parties.
One comes away from the book with a clearer understanding of recent conflict. Though chronologically disjointed, the narrative covers events all the way up until early 2002. The odd structuring of the book is most likely due to the numerous rewrites La Guardia admits in the preface to doing as events continued to unfold.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Henri Scope on June 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Outstanding book. Does a great job of combining biblical lore, modern history (last 100 years), and recent tragic events.
Why do the Arabs and Jews feel entitled to the land? Who is the aggressor? Who is the victim? Who is being stubborn? How can the conflict get more divided over time, with no benefit to either side? Each side is guilty and innocent. No simple answers are given, only context. Not much optimism, just the facts.
The book does jump around, but not in haphazard way. The chapters are groups of stories, with a common thread. If you want to read one book to understand the conflict in Israel/Palestine, buy this one!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Cloyce Smith on September 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A combination of history and journalism, La Guardia's useful and readable book covers the formation of Israel, its recently immigrated Jewish populations, and the exiled or (to risk a loaded word) subjugated, mostly Islamic, Arab natives. While the book sketches the historical events of the last two millennia that led the world to the current impasse and describes the rise of Zionism and its role in the creation of the state, the bulk of its pages focuses on events since 1948.
Discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become so heated that it is surely impossible to write a book that would satisfy even a plurality of readers, much less most of them. La Guardia is not impartial: on the whole, his sympathies tend to lie with the plight of the Palestinians (and part of this bias may well be unavoidable, considering the disadvantaged David vs. well-armed Goliath nature of the conflict). Yet he also understands the motives, emotions, and events that supported both Zionism and the formation of a Jewish state early in the first half of the twentieth century.
His blunt criticisms are equally harsh, directed at the international blindness that seemingly pretended that Palestine was an empty territory before and especially after World War 2, the incendiary Israeli policy of permitting settlements amidst Palestinian territory, the anti-Semitism tainting the Palestinian cause, the intractable religious fanaticism that infects both sides. Furthermore, he is scathing in his criticism of both Israeli and Palestinian leaders. For example, he excoriates Arafat's cynical manipulations, his administration of "a fiefdom in his own image," and his "laissez-faire attitude" to Palestinian violence.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Cooper on July 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
At the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, we have chosen to use this book as one of 5 "essential" readings for our core course this fall for all first year students. This is an important treatise on the state of affairs in Israel today. It is an in-depth "read", posing as many questions for critical thought as it answers. The historical content in LaGuardia's book is rich, which is probably the most valuable element. No one can fully understand the problems of the Middle East without covering the past...... we're not talking about 1967 here, or even 1882, when the Russian Jews began to settle in Palestine. One needs to go back all the way to Abraham and Moses. And as daunting as that sounds, LaGuardia does a commendable job in doing so, constructing viable arguments for the "WHYS" of this crisis of cultures in an objective, balanced manner. This is the logical next read after Thomas Friedman's fine books on the Midde East.
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