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.
This is a terrific book. It gave me a ton of new insights into this war and the events leading up to it.
IT Manager and life long 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 is a story about Israel's existence that can only be explained by divine intervention. The military screw ups and scenes by the Arab opposing forces are similar to scenes in the Bible where God fought the battles for ancient Israel, i.e., large enemy forces fleeing out of unexplained fear, confusion among Arab forces, the leaving behind of large amounts of weapons & war supplies, hot food left on the tables of Arab homes in a suddenly-vacated city, etc. Although author Michael Oren does not credit God with any of these incredible happenings, a student of the Bible will begin to see the Hand of God. One thing, however, is for certain: The Arab order of battle, initial Arab air superiority, the vast numbers of Arab armies and war supplies against the world's 100th smallest nation, Israel, can only leave the secular reader with one conclusion: Israel shouldn't have been able to win this war. But they did, and it was against all odds!
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.
I have not fully understood (nor will I ever completely) the inner workings and politics surrounding conflicts between Israel and it's Arab neighbors, beginning after WWII, and culminating in the Six Day War. Actually, the war hasn't really ended and doesn't seem likely to in the foreseeable future.
It's not hard to see how the Arab world's hatred of the west, and the US in particular, spilled over from this brief and humiliating defeat, though there's no discussion of such issues. The book is quite simply an unbiased, detailed accounting of the facts. No opinions are offered by the author. More than half centers around actions by the key political players and the timing of events, often just by happenstance, that resulted in a an unpredicted outcome with world-wide ramifications.
There's a good accounting of the military actions, but this is not a "shoot-em-up" war story drama. It's much much more.
One can surmise how the seeds of present day Muslim extremism and acts of terror were sewn during the twenty years after WWII along with the creation of Israel. Utter failure and humiliation on the battlefield has led to a war of terrorism--just my opinion.
I would suggest another very good book on the birth and growth of the extremist/terror movement leading up to and including 9-11, "The Looming Tower".