Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by coffee momma
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex library copy has stamp and sticker on book!!!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less Hardcover – November 9, 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
Kindle & comiXology
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$18.00 $7.76

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Glidden, a progressive American Jew who is sharply critical of Israeli policies vis-à-vis the Occupied Territories, went on an all-expense-paid "birthright" trip to Israel in an attempt to discover some grand truths at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This graphic memoir tells the touching and often funny story of her utter failure to do so. As the tour group moves from the Golan Heights to Tel Aviv, Glidden's struggles with propaganda and perspective lead only to a morass of deepening questions and self-doubt. Her neurotic need for objective truths and struggle to reconcile historical perspectives is hugely gratifying for the reader. This is especially true when the group visits Masada, the site of an epic confrontation between a sect of Jewish rebels and a Roman siege army that culminated in mass suicide. Gruesome fanaticism or a stirring clarion call for the burgeoning Zionism movement? You be the judge. As befits a travelogue, Glidden's drawings have the look of something jotted down on the fly; if it weren't for a haircut here or a pair of glasses there, many of the characters would be indistinguishable. Yet the simplicity of the drawing is offset by bright, delicate watercolors that belie our heroine's unresolved struggle with history and heritage.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up–After years of questioning her heritage, arguing with her mother about what it means to be Jewish, and dating a “goy,” Glidden succumbed to the lure of an all-expense-paid trip to Israel through Birthright, a program that offers Jewish young adults first-time trips to the country. At the onset, she declared, “I'm ready to go there and discover the truth behind this whole mess once and for all. It will be crystal clear by the time I come back.” An experienced traveler and a skeptic, she details her two-month excursion through cities and deserts. Readers witness her personal conflict as she seeks to view Israel with an objective eye. One effective literary device is the use of illustrated flashbacks from both Glidden's and Israel's past. The ghosts of David Ben Gurion and Sarah's deceased younger brother accompany her for several panels during her journey. She encounters the worldview of non-Eastern European Jews, Israeli soldiers, and her traveling companions, and begins to realize her limited perspective as she wonders “how many other people on the trip I've completely misjudged.” The author's inner voices as she struggles with her conflicting emotions are brilliantly portrayed during brief trials in “the court of birthright vs. brainwash,” where she serves as the prosecutor, defense, and judge. The tongue-in-cheek title hints at both the subtle humor and the complex subject matter. Glidden's soft, watercolor palette and realistic art complement without overshadowing this thoughtful exploration of the role that cultural heritage plays in the search for personal identity.–Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NYα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401222331
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401222338
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #958,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Susan Partnow on February 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I delayed reading as I'd never read a graphic novel before... But as soon as I started, I couldn't stop. Sarah has done a phenomenal job in capturing the essence of her experience - internal as well as the confusing world of the Middle East. I was moved by the care and sensitive she gives to all sides. No matter what position you hold in the troubling conflicting narratives of Israel-Palestine - you will find this book well worth your while. Share it with your friends! Give it for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift! Give it to the relations who think so differently than you!
3 Comments 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This excellent book could very well be titled "It's Complicated." Author Sarah Glidden takes her birthright trip to Israel. Her underlying reason for going: to "find out the truth about this whole mess once and for all." Ms. Glidden makes it clear that she feels pretty strongly about the rights of Palestinians, the injustice of the wall, the harshness of Israeli policies. She steels herself against being "brainwashed" (a word she use a few times) by her hosts and guides.

But, once there, the author sees the nuances and complications present in all matters. Case in point: her blood starts to boil when she first takes sight of the wall. Far from ignoring it or giving it an impassioned defense, Sarah's guide gives the wall a review from both sides ("My personal opinion is that, while hate how it hurts many people, every day that I wake up and there's no attack on the news, I think about the wall.") Her take: it was "refreshing to hear [him] speak of the negative aspects of the wall without being prompted." This exchange is emblematic of what you'll find throughout the book.

Sarah Glidden has crafted a fine remembrance of her trip. It speaks to the book's authenticity that other reviewers on these pages that have taken the same trip vouch for her accuracy. The work is heightened by her excellent drawings...especially her annotated maps.
1 Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to confess that I am not the target reader for this book. The book is intended for young Jewish people and I'm an older Christian woman, but I love it! I hope the author doesn't mind. It was beautifully written and the drawings made it something that nobody else can duplicate. Well done!

Sarah knows how to describe and draw the emotions so accurately that I felt like I was there with her. Like the author, I recently took my first trip to Israel. I wanted to go there because I wanted to see where all the action happened. I wanted to enjoy the experience Sarah described so vividly of Masada, wondering what the "real" story was and the unforgettable moments going up to Jerusalem. I only had a 22-day trip and stayed in luxury hotels, so I missed some of the experiences of waking up out in the wilderness. I didn't get to know many Israeli natives as she and Melissa did, although I did spend quite a bit of time with the 3-4 that I did meet. I wanted to see the places where Jesus lived. I wanted to see the country that God chose for His own special purposes. We aren't so different though, because I also looked at faces and wondered where they were coming from and what they were thinking. Sometimes I misinterpreted a scowl, because I read too much into it. I too had places I would love to have gone and would probably have been fine, but chose not to, not really because I was afraid (I was with strangers for several weeks in a strange country that people are often afraid to visit), but just because. Even though we are so different in age and spiritual beliefs, I could physically feel the process she was going through about whether to go to a certain place or not.

She got to tour the Old City in Jerusalem without a guide, as I would have loved to have done.
Read more ›
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a powerful autobiographical tale of a young woman exploring her heritage and overcoming her own preconceived notions of what is real and what isn't. Sarah turns her art and view onto herself as she makes a journey into Israel in an attempt to discover the Israel of today. I've got to be honest I can't do justice in trying to do a brief blurb about the book, but I'll try.

Sarah is Jewish and lives in New York. From afar she reads and keeps up with the Palestine/Israel conflict. But in order to truly understand it and see if her own opinions/beliefs are right, she and a friend join a heritage tour group. They travel to Israel and here Sarah holds "trial" in her mind at various stops, weighing what she is hearing with what she believes to be the truth. But along the way she discovers something...about the people that surround her and even more about herself.

Sarah does an excellent job of being honest with herself and her opinions. And this is a must read for anyone, regardless of age, gender, or religion.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I was on a Birthright trip right around the same time, and was impress by the care and detail that went into portraying a complicated situation. The roller coaster of emotions you experience on a trip to Israel are accurately portrayed by the slightly neurotic protagonist, a character I can see a bit of in myself. This is an excellent book, highly recommended for Birthright alumni and those interested in Israel.
Comment 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?