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on 9 June 2011
"How to Cure a Fanatic" by Amos Oz consists of a pair of lectures and can be read in approximately two hours. Yet it is extremely informative and thought provoking. it should be read by anyone and everybody who wants to understand the conflict between Palestinians and Jewish Israelis and certainly by everyone who thinks she or he understands the conflict. Oz shows how the conflict is exceedingly complex in terms of two narratives that contradict each other like an immovable stone and an irresistible force. At the same time he shows that the conflict is heart-rendingly simple: there is no right and wrong, only right and right - and wrong and wrong. For this reason, anyone who takes one side, (whichever side) becomes part of the problem. The solution can only arise out of both sides listening to each other and learning each other's narrative as well as their own. I cannot recommend this little book too highly.
Ruth Barnett, June 2011
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on 7 July 2007
Amos Oz's two short essays are full of valuabe insights into the mindset of a fanatic in general, as well as into just and effective ways to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Coming from an insider in every sense of the word, it is very refreshing to read his opinion that the conflict "is not a religious war, although the fanatics on both sides are trying very hard to turn it into one" but simply a "real-estate dispute". Oz is able to put things into perspective without resorting to hiding behind obscure depictions of the conflict as predominantly a clash of religions/civilizations, or worse, of vile anti-semitism. His message is all the more valuable because he is an insider.

His ideas about the necessity of injecting imagination, as well as a sense of humor, in the mind of a fanatic, provide an interesting, and possibly effective way of loosening up the rigid mould of a fanatic mind. His "Order of the teaspoon" is a fascinating concept (I'm in), but I won't elaborate on it so you'd find out for yourselves!

If only politicians would consult with novelists like Oz, our world would be a much, much better place!
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on 6 April 2014
This booklet ( a mere 6"x4" - don't expect more for your money !) contains two brilliant lectures given by Amos Oz. They happen to have been delivered in the two years following 9/11 and are effectively a plea for peace and common sense, explaining that the Israeli-Palestinian issue is really a quarrel over real estate. He further suggests that there is no other solution than a compromise that will be painful for both parties to recognise. So ultimately he hopes for a two state solution with pragmatically lots of bi-lateral agreements and co-operation.

The title is a slight misnomer, and potentially a disappointment. The first lecture has been titled "Between Right and Right" which implies that both sides have legitimate claims. The second, which lends its title to the book itself, pleads for a sense of humour to prevail so that little by little broadmindedness and tolerance are encouraged. Fanatics would then evolve over a period of time and actually learn to tolerate multiculturalism and diversity. As things stand, Oz points out in the context of fanaticism that "Ben Laden loves us" and wants to save us from ourselves. He is as sincere as he is sarcastic for it is a love of course we can do without.

The booklet ends with a short interview with Oz in 2012 in which he is asked a number of searching questions. Have his views changed in the light of recent events ? What would you imagine ? Common sense remains common sense.
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on 27 September 2010
A good bok to read and learn and the more the reader remembers from it the better. If only the world would consist of people with such insight and tolerance.
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on 20 September 2006
I read this book to flesh out the mainly historical context from which I try to make sense of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. I was not disappointed to start with. Oz's pragmatic approach was refreshing and thought provoking i.e. 'Make peace not love.'

Unfortunately I thought the latter half of the essay drifted away from the insightfullness of the start, although Oz's observations of the fanatic are interesting.

The final interview seemed a bit of a filler, covering some points already addressed.

It's a short read but contains some really interesting ideas, providing this topic has already gripped you.
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on 12 December 2012
A tiny book, but packed with good sense and an insight that can only come from personal experience.
If Amos Oz's humanity, even-handedness and intelligence were common currency in the Middle East, the region and the world would be a safer place.

This small work is a brilliant analysis of a seemingly intractable situation. Sadly however, his solutions require forbearance, sensitivity and humanity on the part of the Jews, Arabs and all the vested interests that encourage their mutual cruelty, so perhaps he is whispering in the wilderness. But the book is well worth reading for a moment of clarity and hope.
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on 19 January 2013
A tiny book, but its impact is much larger, a cogently argued case for a possible solution to the Israel-Palestine problem. Amos Oz, a persuasive writer, may be a touch idealistic in his ideas, but sound commonsense rings through. If only the politicians, of both sides, would be so clear-headed. Dream on ...
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on 8 December 2013
Not sure it would cure a fanatic but it should given them plenty of things to reflect on and consider!
Well written and most definitely a concise piece which is a swift and easy read but deceptive in that it demands our return to it to - just to reconsider the challenging points the author makes.
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on 4 April 2013
A little paperback, full of wisdom; Oz is one of the best Israeli novelists, this book is a collection of little pieces, some of them only marginally related to fanaticism. Overall, it's a beautiful little read!
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on 4 June 2015
Good condition, but it was not made clear it was such a SMALL book in format and less than 100 pages(the size of the £1 Penguins of a few years ago). Given that, expensive at the price, I felt.
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