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The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter That Transformed the Middle East Paperback – October 4, 2005
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Rabinovich, a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, has researched thoroughly and written with clarity, balance and compassion for the victims of a war much larger and fiercer than most Western readers have believed. Anwar Sadat emerges as a major player, having reformed the Egyptian Army and evolved a national strategy of limited objectives. The Israelis, Rabinovich argues, then played into Sadat's hands by intelligence failures that delayed their mobilization, gross underestimation of Arab fighting qualities, and not reckoning on new enemy weapons (the SA-6 antiaircraft missile and the Sagger antitank missile) that would make the Israeli Air Force and armor-heavy ground troops vulnerable. The result was a war that began with serious Israeli losses and major Arab advances, in the Sinai and on the Golan Heights, within miles of Israeli civilians. Sheer hard fighting by the Israelis at the front limited the damage, however, and in spite of leadership conflicts and a few outright failures that Rabinovich dramatizes with flair, a viable Israeli strategy supported by improved tactics gradually emerged. The result was a victory for Israel that was actually more devastating than the Six-Day War, with the added effect of leading to a partial peace with Egypt and later Syria and Jordan. Rabinovich may overpraise Henry Kissinger, and he may underplay the Israeli Air Force, but his book covers everything else at a level equally useful to both the newcomer and the experienced student of the subject.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The thirtieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War just passed, and this is the second major work to commemorate that conflict. Howard Blum's Eve of Destruction [BKL S 1 03] tended to focus on more sensational aspects, such as Israeli plans for nuclear war, double agents, and suicide pills for leaders. A resident of Jerusalem, Rabinovich is a journalist who covered the war for the Jerusalem Post. His work is more restrained than Blum's and emphasizes the military and political struggles. Yet the story contains inherent drama and tension, and Rabinovich effectively captures both. He uses recently declassified materials and information gleaned from participants to reveal how Israel was caught unprepared but managed to turn the tide with some bold tactical maneuvers. His portraits of familiar figures--Sadat, Meir, Sharon, Kissinger--are revealing and often surprising. His analysis of the long-term effects of the war is likely to stoke controversy in both Israel and the Arab world. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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This book covers the massive intelligence analysis (notably not collection) failures on the part of Israel and to a lesser extent USA. It narrates a small revolution in warfare - the introduction of the anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) - small because at least in 1991 and 2003 it did not make a difference against the coalition armored forces.
I knew that Israel did not "lose" this war before I read the book, but the details of how it ended surprised me and kept me in suspense.
Like any good history book, it does not make moral judgments on which side is right or wrong; it presents both perspectives, from historical, ideological, and political points of view.
Liam H Dooley
Want a definitive book on the Yom Kippur war, look no further.
I digested The Yom Kippur War - The Epic Encounter That Transformed The Middle East by Abraham Rabinovich (Shocken Books, New York 2004). This is primarily a "war book" - focusing on military strategy - yet includes the essential human and geo-political insights that served to shape the historical context, and the outcome.
Of all three, I believe I enjoyed The Yom Kippur War by Abraham Rabinovich the most...populated with the names of Golda Meir, Dayan, Sharon, Begin, Kissinger, et al. Yet, the demonstration of courage in the face of certain death by so many - was - for me - shocking (for lack of a more poignant term).
Bottom Line for me after completing this study (it will take me several decades to "digest" the meanings that will continue to resonate through me):
I would recommend both books read in "order" - this one followed by "The Six Day War".
There are many tomes about Israel, Palestine, the Middle East and how today's troubles came to exist. There are historical books, religious books and editorial style books. I would suggest reading books from all sides , educate yourself and then make your own conclusions.
I found these two books to be an excellent start. Highly recommend it.
Incredible research and story telling for non fiction.
The intrigue regarding to interaction between the involved governments including the US and USSR was enlightening.
A little hard to keep track of where the action was taking place without going to the maps.
Because so many documents related to the Yom Kippur/Ramadan War are still classified, including in Israel and in the U.S., the author relies on hundreds of interviews with key Israelis and Americans as well as, it appears, senior Jordanians. In this, the book is definitely more a piece of journalism than pure history. The author is honest about the limitations he faced in compiling information for the book. Access to key Israelis -- including, I intuit, Ariel Sharon -- was far easier to come by than access to Arab decision makers. Even so, the author does a comendable job of humanizing the Egyptian enlisted soldiers who suffered terribly in the war and the aftermath.
Someday, after the historical records are declassified, there will be a more comprehensive book than this. There will never be a more thoughtful or entertaining one. By capturing so much oral history while key people were still living, Rabinovich did all of us an enormous service.