This is the way a definitive work on a major military battle should read. Oren's thorough research comes through with amazing levels of detail in both the Israeli and Arab decision-makers and planning staffs, as well as U.S. and UN actions and behind-the-scenes considerations. Amazingly, Oren found a way to cram this book with tons of details, but I never found myself getting bored or lost in the data--probably due to great writing and narration.
Oren's account of the 6-Day War drives home the point that Clausewitz made long ago: "War is politics by other means." Until you understand the political drives, the personalities calling the shots, the miscommunications, the hidden agendas and the historical perspective, you will not truly understand why any given war occurs or how it ends, and if the resulting peace is truly lasting or if it is going to lead to more conflict.
As I read this book, the 2006 Israeli-Lebanon conflict was just heating up. I found the historical insights in this book invaluable in understanding some of the context of the current conflict.
Michael Oren has done a superb job with this overview of one of the most important wars of the second half of the 20th century. Oren breathes life into the arcane political machinations of all the players; the US, Israel, the Arab States, the UN, and the USSR. It is fascinating to see in such vivid detail how each party viewed the others and their own actions. I sat on the edge of my car seat waiting to find out if Israel would attack Egypt or Egypt invade the Negev, even though what happened is so well known. The consumate skill of the narrator only added to joy of listening.
Overall this book is a refreshingly honest look at a conflict that is so often characterized by cliches and hyperbole. You will come away with a greater understanding of the Israeli-Arab conflict and a greater appreciation for the nuances and ambiguities that dominate the region's politics.
No. Each has its advantages. For example, maps in the printed version.
Moshe Dayan - Minister of Defence, Israel. His complex and perplexing character and ability to make sudden changes in regard to the war in the West bank, the capture of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
Excellent narrator. Pronounces Arab and Israeli names and places flawlessly
The book is a detailed political as well as military history of the events surrounding the Six Day War. It tries to present information from both the Arab and Israeli viewpoints,. It clearly demonstrates the divisions among the Arab nations and the resulting problems in carrying out coordinated military and political actions against a determined foe.
I believe this is a very comprehensive book of the 1967 events and before. It is detailed and very well designed. Also, the book moves at a very high speed with no repititions; something that makes the hearing experience entertaining as well
A balanced history of the war telling the story from both sides. It was fascinating to get a feel and understanding for the world politics going on at the time.
Important book by the author who is now an ambassador to the United Nations.
I would like to comment on the narrator. He reads crisply and does a fine job, with one glaring exception. He pronounces many people's names incorrectly. There are so many wrong pronunciations that it gets to be a bit humorous (if you don't laugh, you might give up on this fine book in frustration). I don't understand why he didn't get a script that gave the correct way to say non-English names. Still, that would not keep me from renting this great book.
The title to this audiobook is somewhat misleading as this is really about the events which led up to the war as well as an almost minute by minute recounting of the combat. About half of the book is devoted to each. With almost 50 years elapsed, and with access to a seemingly treasure trove of historical documents, Oren has pieced together a finely detailed, arguably definitive recounting of the momentous events which reshaped the Middle East, founded the “modern” state of Israel, and propelled a generation of religious and sectarian conflict since. For readers of history, those with an interest in the Middle East, Israel, or the interplay (or failures) of diplomacy and warfare, there is lots here to captivate – from the larger than life political and military leaders, to the half-hearted efforts of diplomacy, to the military strategy and tactics involved. Oren takes pains to move the narrative along by balancing the goings on of all sides during the inexorable march to war and thereafter and there are the occasional revelations, some of which I found genuinely startling. While this could have formed the basis of a suspenseful page turner, the focus here is really on factual information told (and capably narrated) in a straightforward manner yet I found the results anything but dry or plodding. My only criticisms are that the maneuvering of forces and locations of battles are at times, difficult to follow without benefit of maps. As well, the cessation of the war, aftermath, and ramifications are dealt with comparatively briefly. Nevertheless, I would say these are relatively minor and that this book is well worth a listen.
Audible obsessed lifelong learner.
The book does a good job of exploring the events that lead to the tensions of the Arab and Israel factions boiling over into full out conflict for six days in 1967. It paints the picture of world powers on the brink of WWIII as they stood behind their respective factions over the conflict. It certainly explains much of the tensions in the Middle East that plague the world today.
This book deals very well with both sides of the conflict simultaneously. Bias seems to be at a minimum, although possibly slanted toward the Israeli point of view. In addition to dealing with the Arab/Israeli conflict, the author also goes behind the scenes of the cold war, which is also quite revealing. One almost needs a map to keep up unless you are familiar with the towns of sinai and the west bank.