Wednesday, November 18, 2015
ARAB AND JEW
In A Promised Land
By David K. Shipler
OVERVIEW: In 1987, David Shipler won the Pulitzer Prize for this monumental examination of the relationship between Arabs and Jews and the origins of their prejudices. Now, this classic—revised and updated—is more significant than ever. The biases and corrosive interactions that have been building between the two peoples over the past seventy years have only sharpened amid nationalism, terrorism, and war. Focusing on the diverse cultures that exist side by side in Israel and the Palestinian territories, Shipler examine the process of indoctrination that begins in schools; he discusses the effects of socioeconomic differences, the clashes of Israeli and Palestinian historical narratives, religious conflicts between Islam and Judaism, views of the Holocaust, and much more. And he writes of the people; the Arab woman in love with a Jew, the retired Israeli military officer now disillusioned, the Palestinian militant devoted to violent means, the Israeli and Palestinian schoolchildren who reach across the divides in search of reconciliation. Their stories, and the hundreds of others, reflect not only the reality of "wounded spirits" but also the healing inside minds necessary for eventual coexistence in the promised land.
AUTHOR: David K. Shipler reported for The New York Times from 1966 to 1988 in New York, Saigon, Moscow, Jerusalem, and Washington. He is the author of seven books, including the bestsellers Russia and The Working Poor. He has taught at Dartmouth, Princeton, and American University. He writes online at The Shipler Report.
MY REVIEW: Newsday writes, "A rich, penetrating, and moving portrayal of Arab-Jewish hostility, told in human terms." I'm finding this to be true. I feel like I am receiving a major education. This is one of the few times in my years of reviewing books that I am posting my review before reading the entire book. I have read enough that I can recommend this comprehensive work to everyone interested in this important subject. However, I must say that you will have to be a serious student and one that wants to dig deep into the subject. You will also need to be a dedicated reader and one who will persevere. This is not an easy read. Not by any means.
The book has a lengthy forward and introduction and you will need to read both of them carefully before "digging in." Time and time again I found myself having to look up the meaning of words and terms I am unfamiliar with or found difficult to pronounce. I am slowly making my way through this book. When I have finished I should be granted some kind of academic degree. Even though this is not an easy read for me, I realize it will be for some. And many will agree with The New York Times that this is "The best and most comprehensive work there is in the English language on this subject."
(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)