Cain's Field: Faith, Fratricide, and Fear in the Middle East Hardcover – November 2, 2004
"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
For the first time in paperback, from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him. | Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0743250474
- Product Dimensions : 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- ISBN-10 : 0743250478
- Publisher : Free Press (November 2, 2004)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,040,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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His understanding of the Arab culture is deep and well researched. It is amazing to read a man who truly understands the nuances of Moslem-Palestinian society. A must read for all interested in developing a better understanding of the region. The book is at times painful and disturbing. For weeks I could not sleep at night when my thoughts turned to it. Yet, I am grateful to Matt Rees for opening that culture to me. I have since read other works by him, this time in the form of fiction and media articles.
Now that I've read it, this nuanced and thoughtful review of the realities of life for both Israelis and Palestinians joins my list of top books of the year. The highlight? The fact that instead of getting bogged down in retreading the same old ground in the Israeli/Palestinian dispute, Rees forges new territory. Instead of looking at what divides the two groups, he discovers that what unites them is, ironically, the schisms within each society and the existence of factions that make life on both sides of the great divide complex and divisive in ways that are less familiar to us on the outside.
In the first section of the book, which examines life within the Palestinains, some of these rifts are more familiar, such as that between the PLO and Hamas (Rees's scorn for Arafat is glaring) but many are more intriguing and unexpected, such as the story of the rift between the "Israeli Arabs" who stayed behind in 1948, told through the experience of a filmmaker who is trying to address issues of concern to all Arabs living in the region even though he is technically Israeli. On the Israeli side, the internal are all the more powerful for being relatively little known here who don't have a direct connection to Israel. I, for one, hadn't realized the scope of the division between the growing ranks of the ultra-orthodox and the secular Jews; or understood the nature of the rift between the Sephardic immigrants from North Africa and the dominant Ashkenazim. Most poignant of all, perhaps, is Rees's chronicle of the ways in which many Israelis have shunned psychologically-troubled Holocaust survivors. Despite the fact that the fact of the Holocaust is responsible for the creation of Israel (the Holocaust, and the effort to prevent it from reoccuring, form a powerful argument in favor of Israel's existence for many), many native-born Israelis find the reminder of the fact that their weak coreligionists (in Rees's characterization of their views) allowed themselves to be shuffled off to Auschwitz without protest. (His thoughts on Ben Gurion's attitudes to the survivors are just as forcefully stated as those on Arafat.)
Rees links all his stories and word portraits to the main theme that readers will have on their minds throughout -- each side, he argues, "exists in a fantasy world of blamelessness, shifting guilt to a distant enemy and away from the consequences of the divisions within its own society, the pain Palestinians inflict on Palestinians and Israelis on Israelis." If there's one book you read about the Middle East today, make it this one, even though it's now been out for a few years. It doesn't deserve to overlooked.
All of his books are must reading!