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Palestine-Israel Conflict: A Basic Introduction Hardcover – 20 Jul 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (20 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745323790
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745323794
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.5 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,031,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

An indispensable, basic introduction ... There is no better single volume -- [this is] objective in every way. -- Gabriel Kolko, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at York University in Toronto and author of Another Century of War?

Comprehensive, detailed, yet lively and readable ... A tour-de-force in the depth and breadth of its research and in its clarity. -- John K. Cooley, veteran foreign correspondent and author on the Middle East.

Written with a relaxed informality, [this book] is especially good at highlighting key issues. -- Arthur Goldschmidt Jr. Professor Emeritus of Middle East History at Penn State University and author of A Concise History of the Middle East

About the Author

Gregory Harms is a freelance writer and independent researcher. He frequently lectures on the Middle East and international affairs, and has traveled throughout Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Outside the realm of politics, Harms' writing also appears in a recently published anthology entitled The Spoken Word Revolution (Sourcebooks, 2003). Todd Ferry began his studies in archaeology and Near East history at Indiana University. He received his MA in Syro-Palestinian archaeology from the University of Chicago in 2001. He has worked as a supervisor at both the sites of Ashkelon and Tel Beth Shemesh in Israel.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Not only was this a fantastic introduction to this highly contentious and emotional subject, but it was also one of the clearest and most easily understood books I have ever read. The author assumes very little prior knowledge and even goes so far as to explain terms and expressions that he feels might not be know to the reader (eg. he explains Apartheid and the term Raison detre). This is a pet hate of mine as I am sick of writers using uncommon words and expressions without explaining them, thereby making their texts harder to understand for the average person not versed in academia.

To someone new to the field, this book seems to be quite objective as it simply goes through the events and the motivations behind them without emotional bias, which is quite a feat in itself considering the amount of senseless killing that has occurred on both sides of this war.

If like me, your only source of information on this conflict as been the mass media and you want to know more, buy this book.
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Format: Paperback
An Excellent Read. Written, totally in an unbiased manner. Provides a brilliant Historical Perspective. The book narrates the story of this land right from its birth in human History to present times (and how it evolved over centuries with a variety of different people who inhabited this land). If there is one book on the Palestine-Israel Conflict - it will have to be by Gregory Harms. A must Read. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Format: Paperback
Impressive. This book effectively sums up the history of the said conflict, and indeed the wider Middle East as far back as 3300 BC - some feat considering it is little over 180 pages! On offer is a very good level of detail (considering it is a 'basic' introduction), especially of recent (post-1948) events. Having read the book, the sheer futility of the ongoing conflict becomes apparent - the number of (failed) negotiations between the various parties over the years, is astounding. Furthermore, having considered other reviews of this title, I feel that accusations of pro-Palestinian bias are unfounded (I would consider myself pro-Israeli) - the author paints a largely fair picture of events. Thoroughly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8a1adbac) out of 5 stars 22 reviews
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8a1b387c) out of 5 stars An Excellent,Concise Overview 21 Sept. 2008
By Will Jerom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Harms and Ferry are to be congratulated on writing a book that concisely introduces a very complicated and controversial topic. The authors have skillfully put together a readable and brief account of the origins of the present conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Most readers (hopefully) will find it remarkably well-balanced and accurate, neither demonizing the Israelis nor the Muslims, but frankly stating that this is a disagreement with more modern roots in politics and a clash over land, rather than an ancient conflict of religion. Harms and Ferry have given us a good work to introduce prospective students or new initiates into a very important field of study. I highly recommend it.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8a1b38d0) out of 5 stars Excellent primer for someone new to topic 28 Feb. 2009
By Samuel J. Schleman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I thought this book did an excellent job of covering all the major events pertinent to this topic. It also gave a sense of the timeline. I thought the coverage was even-handed and reasonably objective. For someone looking for an introduction to this topic, or maybe just a single book that will give one an overall sense of things, this seems ideal.
I defintely recommend this book.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8a34f18c) out of 5 stars Very informative and honest 20 Jan. 2010
By Unarubia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most honest and informative books, I have read about the subject. No biased opinions, just facts and fair introduction. Easy to read ant to undrestand also for people, who have a very little backround information.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8a1b3b58) out of 5 stars Succinct, well-written, eye-opening 11 Nov. 2005
By Michael R. Pugh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a rock solid introduction to the Israel/Palestine conflict. I've always been interested in the topic, but I don't have the time to tackle one of the huge academic tomes out there. This book was the just the ticket - a concise and factual account written in a breezy, informed style. The text is chunked up nicely and the chapter summaries are particularly helpful.

Over a brisk 182 pages, the author lays out the situation from ancient times until the death of Arafat and beyond. The facts, dates, wars and peace plans come at you fast and furious, but the author guides you through with clarity, the occasional chuckle, and constant astonishment - from Israel's stunning military victory in the Six-Day War to the audacity of their land grabs to the terrible plight of Palestinian refugees.

A lot of people choose sides in this conflict like they choose sports teams and then root accordingly. I'm guilty of that to some degree, but, because of this book, I feel like I've developed a more sympathetic and balanced view.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8a1b3af8) out of 5 stars Great Overview 29 Dec. 2010
By M. Dobbs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book because the Palestine-Israel conflict is always in the news, and yet I knew almost nothing about it. I thought I knew where my sympathies lie, but I did not know the origins or the historical context. After reading this book, I know much, much more than I did before. The context, the history, important names and dates -- these are all covered in. I am in the process of doing additional reading now because this book really is just an overview, but it was a great place to start.

I would say the book is balanced and neutral, at least as much as it is possible to be about such a charged subject, and certainly more so than many other books. It is short, but it packs a lot of information into the pages. Finally, it is well written -- it is not dry or boring. I highly recommend it to those who, like me, know little or nothing about the conflict.
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