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Six Days: How the 1967 War Shaped the Middle East Paperback – 2 Aug 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; New edition edition (2 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074344969X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743449694
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Impeccably accurate [and] vitally captured . . . Piece by piece, and hour by hour, Bowen follows the events . . . Meticulous' -- Guardian

'[A] fast-paced history . . . surely the most gripping military tale since the fall of France in the Second World War' -- Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Suicide attacks on Israelis, bombings and assassinations, and bloodshed in Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank dominate the news from the Middle East. It is the most troubled region on earth. At its heart is the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis -- and the legacy of six days of war in 1967.

Arabs and Jews have been fighting over the Holy Land for a century. After the state of Israel emerged from war in 1948, both sides knew more battles were coming. In June 1967 years of slow-burning tension exploded. In six extraordinary days, Israel destroyed the armed forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. But far from bringing peace, as many Israelis hoped, their stunning victory turned into a curse.

The Six-Day War created today’s battlefield. Israel still occupies land it seized in 1967 in Jerusalem, Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights. Israeli soldiers whose grandfathers led men into battle in 1967 enforce an occupation that creates controversy and headlines around the world; Palestinians who grew up surrounded by the occupation’s violence strap explosives to their bodies to kill Israelis. Peace now depends on unravelling the consequences of what happened during that momentous week almost four decades ago.

From the initial battle order issued to the Israeli air force on Monday, 5 June 1967, to the final ceasefire on the evening of Saturday 10th, the Six-Day War was a riveting human drama. Building on his first-hand experience of the region after his five years as the BBC’s Middle East Correspondent, as well as extensive original research, Jeremy Bowen now presents a brilliantly compelling new history of the conflict. SIX DAYS re-creates day by day, hour by hour, the bullying and brinkmanship that led four nations to war, interweaving testimonies of combatants from all sides in a seamless narrative.

A rigorous and original piece of modern history that is as vivid as fiction, SIX DAYS not only sheds new light on one of the key conflicts of the twentieth century, it explains much about the Middle East and the problems the region still faces today. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tmh on 28 July 2014
Format: Paperback
I bought this after reading Oren's seminal 'six days of war', an excellent factual account of the battlefield tactics. He asserts Israel was surrounded by hostile Arab neighbours determined to wipe her off the face of the earth and that the battle was a close run call. Oren was in the Israeli Defence Force and later became the Israeli Ambassador to the US.
Bowen is a respected BBC journalist. In this book he portrays the Arab armed forces as largely ineffectual and their bombastic rhetoric empty. (Egypt's airforce destroyed on the ground by a pre-emptive attack was unbelievably a repeat of 1956). Israel engaged in border provocations with Syria followed by disproportionally severe retaliation. It is debatable how close the outcome of the battle actually was, the bottom line being the US mediterranean fleet were pledged to protect Israel.
I am driven to writing this review as a response to what I regard as some undue accusations of 'bias'. Whilst I do not feel Bowen approaches Oren's academic writing style and content, I feel it has a deepened, alternative perspective and is an excellent alternative accompaniment to Oren's book. I have both together on my bookshelf.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Awad on 7 Sep 2011
Format: Paperback
Very good account of a war that "shaped the middle east", it has given more realistic account of what happened. My problem with it is the fact that it's full of Israeli sources and quotes and little from the Arab side, that is understandable because of the totalitarian Arab regimes that still rules, and many of them don't want the truth to get out.

In the book, there are many personal accounts of the war from different soldiers and commanders rather than a more general picture. That makes it easy to read for the easily distractable reader, but makes it loose the historical aspect and gives more of a biography one.

Over all, this is the best it will get in the history of the Six Days war, and it's much less biased than the ones written by Israelis or their sympathizers.
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Format: Paperback
A great blend of factual and descriptive writing really makes this an interesting read. I liked the way Jeremy presents the facts in an unbiased manner but at the same time really succeeds in bringing the situations to life with very vivid explanations of the underlying context in every situation . I read this shortly before spending time in the region for a work project and I found it really useful in terms of gaining an understanding of the history of this fascinating place. Without reading the book I genuinely feel I would not have been able to understand why this is such a complex and often misunderstood part of the world.

A must for anybody who wants to learn more about this fascinating part of the world.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Laird on 1 Feb 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the book with interest as I participated in the war, serving in a tank batallion (Centurions) in an armoured brigade. I was in the central division that crossed the 'impassable' dunes to Bir Lachfan, and continued to Bir El Hasene and eventually to Bir Tmadeh. I also passed through the Gaza Strip a couple of days after it was captured. The book was fairly accurate as a historical record, but I cannot accept the accounts of the widespread murder and killing which the author describes. The Israeli army at that time prided itself on morality and ethics. I saw plenty of Egyptian prisoners rounded up who were well treated. I did witness one incident where Egyptians who were scattered in the desert behind the lines and were without water or food, ambushed the vehicle in front of mine. They killed the driver and an officer. At that moment a more senior officer arrived on the scene accompanied by two armoured personnel carriers. They quickly rounded up the group of about a dozen Egyptians who had carried out the ambush and killing, and they were summarily shot at the roadside. I expect other incidents did take place, but generally what I saw was good acceptable treatment of prisoners. I think perhaps the author had been fed 'incident' stories which were unverifiable and he has over stated what actually took place.
Altogether the book is very readable and recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By bosspenny on 25 Jan 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
i did not know that much about the six day war and the events leading up to it but this gives you everything you need to fully understand what went on. a very interesting book written by someone who knows what they are writing about.
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By S Butterfield on 26 Jan 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought this was a very well written book. Very informative. Could have concentrated more on the actual battles rather than the refugees but I suppose that is a consequence of war.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the third of Jeremy's books that I have read. Jeremy has thoroughly researched his subject giving the reader an insight into the reasons why the Middle East is as it is today. His style of writing brings the people and events to life. Highly recommended.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on 18 May 2010
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and learnt more about the Arab fiasco in this war which Israel was well prepared to engage in and win whilst the Arabs were only hot air and no real action. Indeed the Arabs were dreaming about throwing the Jews in the sea but Nasser and the other Arab leaders hoped that a scenario similar to 1956 with UN or superpower intervention will be repeated giving them political victory although they knew very well that Israel was destined to crush the Arab armies combined.

The war was a propaganda war on the Arab side and a blitz to establish secure borders and a land grab on the Israeli side. I was 9 years old at the time and I do remember listening on the first day (5 June 1967) to Ahmed Said's continuous lies on the radio from Cairo about downing hundreds of Israeli planes. The war was a master strike for the Israeli military and political leadership. It was the culmination of many years of preparation. It was a win of the defiant Sabra determination against the European Jew in a ghetto mentality. It was the anti-climax of the Holocaust.

Israel deserved to win and rightly so as it used the belligerent illegal closure by a pompous Nasser of the Aqaba straits to carry out its pre-emptive surgical strike. The war created a political nightmare in the long term. Had it not been for 1967 there would not have been a 1973. Israel learnt the hard way that a military victory does not bring peace. The same mistakes were repeated in Lebanon. A political solution did the trick with Egypt which has endured for 30 years.

Jeremy was very successful in analysing what he described as the Syrian syndrome. He was very balanced in arguing the case for peace in his concluding chapter. The aftermath of the 1967 war is with us today. Unless an acceptable solution is found, Israel will not enjoy security or peace. The same is even more true for the Arabs.

Highly recommended.
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