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Holy Land, Unholy War: Israelis and Palestinians [Hardcover]

Anton La Guardia
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 July 2001
Writing dispassionately about the Holy Land, said Mark Twain, is as hard as being dispassionate about your own wife or children. Today, more than a century after Twain led the way for mass tourism to what was then a remote corner of the Ottoman Empire, the difficulties are redoubled.;The modern struggles of the Israelis and Palestinians - with their larger-than-life stories of disaster and redemption - command the obsessive attention and passion of sympathizers around the world. The 1993 Oslo accords promised to end more than a century of conflict between Jews and Arabs, but the Palestinian uprising that began in October 2000 has raised fears that the fighting could destabilize the whole region.;With the experienced journalist's eye for the telling detail and anecdote, Anton La Guardia offers an intimate portrait of the people behind the headlines. He explores their histories and cultures: from the religious upheavals of Jerusalem to the extremism of Jewish settlers and Islamic suicide bombers, from the first Zionist pioneers to the post-Zionist generation in Tel Aviv, from the stirrings of Arab nationalism to the Lebanon War.;The author explains how the searing traumas of the Holocaust and the Palestinian exodus have shaped Israeli and Palestinian societies. He also looks at the role of the outside world, from the awe-struck visits of medieval Christian pilgrims to the scheming of world powers. He traces how the promise of peace has turned into the curse of war, drawing on his reporter's notebooks from years spent covering the peace accords, Islamic suicide bombings, the assassination of the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the outbreak of the latest Palestinian uprising. This book is part contemporary political reportage and part iconoclastic history. A dispassionate account of Israel and Palestine may be impossible, but this book is written with the first-hand knowledge, affection and exasperation of one who writes about embittered relatives.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 391 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; First Edition edition (19 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719556015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719556012
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,217,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'A sobering, richly textured account of today's Israel' Matthew Reisz, Daily Telegraph; 'Writes movingly of the sufferings of both peoples' Edward Fox, Evening Standard; 'The best book I have yet read about Israel and the Middle East, and certainly the fairest.' Charles H. Middleburgh, Liberal Judaism; 'An elegantly written, rigorously researched, densely packed narrative... a triumph.' Douglas Davis, Jerusalem Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Featuring an experienced journalist's eye for irony, anecdote and the telling detail, Anton La Guardia here provides a portrait of the people behind the headlines in Israel and Palestine. The book is part iconoclastic history and part contemporary political reportage.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is the best account of Israel and its relation with the Palestinians that I have read for years - well-written, intelligent and fascinating. LaGuardia kept me intrigued by examining not only the conflict itself but by painting a deeper understanding of the people behind the conflict - what shaped them and how they have shaped the conflict. It's a must read for anybody traveling to Israel, or who is just interested in the Middle East.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!! 28 July 2001
By A Customer
A fantastic book that goes beyond the headlines to help the reader understand the history and people of this Holy Land. Unlike any other book on the subject I have read of late, the author gives a balanced portrayal of a devastating conflict. An excellent read with interesting anecdotes. Mandatory for anyone who really wants to understand this conflict!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well-written analysis 15 Dec 2002
By mcsmall
How refreshing to read an objective account of this tragic conflict, which combines historical analysis and the human touch.La Guardia basis much of his analysis on interviews and observation.He is not averse to criticism of both sides, but, in often allowing the protagonists to speak for themselves, allows the reader to come to their own conclusions.A brilliant antidote to the simplistic polemicism of supporters of both sides of the conflict.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant fair and detailed 10 May 2004
By A Customer
As a person who has only recently started to take an interest in the history behind this conflict as i was too young to understand what was going on until now, i have read a lot of one-sided drivle with the sole aim of discrediting either the israelis or the palestinians. Nothing I read could satisfy my need to read something that took a middle ground on these matters, without championing one cause over the other.
This book is however in my view fair and balanced and non-opinionated, presenting the facts as they are so that you can make up your own mind. It is a breakthrough in publications on this subject and deserves applause. id recommend it to everyone who seriously wants to get down to fact rather than hearing which side is the more evil.... we've all had enough of name calling already.
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