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Israel: An Introduction Paperback – February 21, 2012
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In subsequent chapters the History, the Land and People, the Society, the Economy and the Culture are described. The presentations are factual and accurate but often have a superficial survey quality. What is sustained however throughout is an emphasis on the variety and richness of Israeli society and life, and how different it is from cliché views of it presented daily in the Western and world media.Read more ›
I have since discovered Prof. Rubin to be a marvelous writer and invaluable source for understanding the Mid East in general. He's written numerous books on Israel's neighborhood, including Syria and Lebanon. I gobbled up one on Syria and came away with an appreciation of what has been going on for decades that the Western press never bothers with. He also penned a well-received biography of Arafat. I recently discovered Prof. Rubin's blog, which provides daily information nourishment and indispensable commentary/analysis (and accurate predictions, to boot). [...] In my opinion, no writer provides a better education in this crucial material. And he's a great lover and champion of America, too. Both countries, and even the Muslim world, would benefit greatly by his being appointed to an influential job in Romney's State Dept.
It is exactly what it says on the tin: an introduction to Israel. It is written in a clean, sparse, factual style and always relates back not to opinions, but to effects. For example, while going through one of the many cycles of attacks, reprisals, peacemaking attempts, and the inevitable double-cross, Rubin neither lingers nor complains nor unduly assigns fault. Instead, he relates it to the effect it had on the Israeli populace, mood, and vote. Why? Because this is an introduction to Israel, not a military history.
If you want a military history, use the appropriate chapters of this book as an outline of events to work from and then you can look up more detail on each one.
Otherwise, buy several copies so you have them on hand to give out to people who don't know the first thing about Israel but want to learn (which happened to me at a friend's church outing I was invited to). That's what I plan to do.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent, comprehensive overview, not just of Israeli history, but of all aspects of Israeli life: society, culture, government and politics.Published 18 months ago by Martin E. Keller
This man was a gifted writer, educated in the US, who knew the Mid East like no one I've read before. His insight and analysis was unmatched, until his death. Read morePublished 19 months ago by ProviewBDA
A thorough, wholly enjoyable and well-documented summary of modern Israel, from the beginning of the zionist movement to the present, covering aspects such as geography, history,... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Pepet de Bétera
I enjoyed this book; it was interesting. But it ought to have been billed more as a survey text than a history, which is what it was sold as on Amazon.Published on August 12, 2014 by C. E. Creager
This book is far more comprehensive in its scope than expected. It's a very good value for all persons interested in a factual accounting of the Israeli journey to statehood and... Read morePublished on June 1, 2014 by Stan Levine
While this book covers many general topics, such as, religion, culture, society, etc. the book is very general and doesn’t provide much detail or insight beyond the big picture. Read morePublished on May 29, 2014 by Nissim
i was very pleased with the condition and great value for this book that my daughter will use in a 2014 May-mester class at her universityPublished on April 14, 2014 by Amazon Customer
The strength of this book is its breadth and depth, for being an overview of Israel. This is a useful reference for anyone who has an interest in Israel. Read morePublished on September 22, 2013 by Bill S
This was a very biased book. It explained the glories of the people (Jewish) of Israel and completely ignored the the fact that today the West Bank is considered part of Israel... Read morePublished on June 15, 2013 by qal