Israel: A History Paperback – 1 Oct 1999
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'Rich in detail...a grand, heroic narrative.', The Times Literary Supplement .'Martin Gilbert has left us in his debt, not only for a superlative history of Israel, but also for a restatement of the classic vision of Zion, in which a Middle East without guns is not a bedtime story but an imperative long overdue. This is the vision for which Yitzhak Rabin gave his life. This book is tribute to his memory.', Jonathan Sacks, The Times .'Not just an invaluable piece of historical research, it is also a joy to read...Required reading for anyone who wants to understand that most extraordinary and perplexing country.', Jewish Chronicle .'The most comprehensive account of Israeli history yet published.', Efraim Karsh, Sunday Telegraph
The story of Israel, past and present, by one of Britains bestselling historians and the ultimate authority on the Jewish nation.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This study surveys in some detail the first 50 years of Israel's history following the nation's re-birth in 1948. The book also tells of the involvement of the nation's pioneers and founders extending back into the latter half of the nineteenth century, together with many stories pertaining to the individuals who contributed to the re-birth of the Jewish state and to it's very survival during the ensuing conflicts.
The book begins with a chapter entitled "Ideals For Statehood" and describes how, since the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70AD, Jews dispersed throughout the World have prayed for a return to Zion. "Next Year in Jerusalem" being the hope expressed at the end of every Passover meal. Later in the book the incredible hostility towards such Zionism is addressed.
The book initially describes the "considerable Jewish activity in Palestine" as the nineteenth century came to an end and extends to the Balfour Declaration and the work towards a Jewish homeland in Palestine that the latter promised. Unfortunately the book lacks any appropriate or real attention to the creation of the state of Transjordan in 1922 and how this affected the eventual rebirth of Israel. An issue where Britain detached 78% of the original area of Mandate Palestine to create another Arab entity in order to satisfy Arab aspirations for independence. This area east of the Jordan was thereafter called Trans-Jordan, and remained legally part of the British Mandate until 1946, when it was declared an independent Arab state, renamed Jordan in 1953.Read more ›
The lack of feetnotes and references is a bit glaring too.He shines in the chapters about the Yom Kippur war in 1973,when he happened to be visting Israel and interweaves his own experiences with the more general history.These chapters are,it must be said,the exception to most of the rest of the book.Gilbert has written much better histories than this.
If you want a much better pro-Zionist history,try "A History of Israel" by Howard Zachar.I wouldn't recommend Gilbert's "Israel" to somebody new to either Israeli or Middle east history.
Most aspects of the current conflicts and debates that rage in (and around) the Middle East are difficult to grasp without knowledge of the facts - as opposed to the myths - of the past six or seven decades. Gilbert's book is authoritative and well-informed. It is a masterpiece of contemporary history writing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's as you would expect a little bit heavy going but very detailed and full of informationPublished 1 month ago by dave
I have to admit I've only read a tiny portion of this book before being incensed at the author stating that Israelis were 'forced to share part of its own land with another people'... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Veggiesosage
Very interesting (and long!) read. It gives a clear and thorough explanation of every aspect of the struggle for a Jewish state (warts and all).Published 1 month ago by David Blake
I am a keen reader of historical texts but this is by far the best I have read. Not only does Dr Gilbert deal with the major historical figures but also the minor passers by.Published 6 months ago by Alister Cryan
This book doesn't mention the history after the creation of Israel BEFORE 1948 or the Muslim conquest of the Land, the Ottoman Turks or WHERE the Palestinians came from. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer