I'd been looking forward to this book as I had heard it was a balanced account. Well, book is good, but author's bias sways as much toward the Israeli favor as did the war itself. Nothing at all wrong with that, as many good histories are a bit one sided, but he states in beginning his goal was to be objective.
While he does spend an inordinate amount of time on the pre-war diplomacy, once the action starts the book moves fast--unfortunately, too fast. My only criticism is that I had hoped the battle scenes would have been fleshed out more.
Again, while clearly showing a bias, he does examine various reasons why the Egyptians, Syrians, and Jordanians were so caught unaware.
A better idea for a book would be a side by side comparison of the surprise in 1967 and why Israel did so well, versus the 1973 attack that caught the Israelis comparatively off-guard, yet did not garner the same success for the Arab countries that Israel had in 1967 against them.
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
After the Arab Spring began, I wanted to know more of the history of conflict in that area of the world. I have paid careful attention to the news, but news is a snapshot of what is happening now. Without historical context, the “why” is elusive.
“Six Days of War” is a detailed history of The 1967 Six Day War/The June ’67 War and the 1973 Yom Kippur/October War. It gives the historical context that gave rise to the long running Arab-Israeli dispute that started even before Israel became a nation. Orem follows with a comprehensive, but brief discussion of conflict until 2002, when he wrote his book.
Syria triggered the 1967 war by a series of border skirmishes, and firing on an Israeli farming outpost. Six weeks later, after the Israelis and the Arabs gathered munitions; tried to convince the United States (Israel) and the Soviet Union (Egypt) to provide artillery and planes; nominally tried to resolve the situation peacefully at the United Nations; and mustered public support, the war began.
Oren avoids easy stereotypes about the military prowess – or lack thereof –on either side. It would be easy to minimize the Arab military preparations and tactics because they were completely overwhelmed in combat, but Oren pays careful attention to the factors that caused that. Those included Soviet military equipment unsuited for desert warfare; an overriding Arab distrust of Jordan’s King Hussein; Syria’s failure to fight until 4 or 5 days into the war; nepotism and cronyism in the Egyptian army that meant incompetent men were making battle decisions; and an overarching communications problem.
The Israelis had different problems and some spectacular failures. Because of mistaken identity, the Israelis bombed the USS Liberty, an American ship in international waters 25 miles off the coast of Egypt, killing 34 Americans. The USS Saratoga had planes in the area on a training exercise carrying nuclear armed missiles. Identities were established and resolved shortly before an accidental nuclear war started.
The book is light on the actual armaments used in the war, which was a bit of a disappointment. Tanks and artillery are covered pretty well. External fuel tanks were a real issue, and what happened to those tanks and crews is as obvious as it was unfortunate.
I liked the narrator’s voice, but he mispronounced words, which was annoying. He did well with the Yiddish and Egyptian, but he was hit-and-miss with the Arabic. Occasionally, some English words were wrong, which was jarring – it sounds like he is a native English speaker.
I am glad I listened to the book. I now have a much better understanding of what is happening now, and why.
Military History and Archaeology
Yes. This is a good account of the events leading up to the Six Day War, it covers the Political relationships of the regional participants, as well as the relationship of super and world powers with the participants as well as how world events and public opinion affected those relationships. Intragovernmental and intraArab relations were examined. Military operation given less space, but this did not detract from the story,
There is a wide cast of characters
Solid pace and tone, great delivery,
Very monotonous. difficult to follow content.
was unable to get into story.
next time call it a history book with to many facts. not fast paced at all.
I would strive to make the first half of the book more entertaining. I found the first half a little dull; yes, packed with necessary information about causes, and relevant facts and vignettes that lead to the war, but dry none-the-less. Maybe my anticipation of learning insight about the strategy and tactics employed in the actual battles ruined my appreciation of the build-up in the book.
Also, as a person unfamiliar with arabic names, I found it somewhat difficult to understand some of the pronunciations and found myself backtracking to avoid missing important facts. Overall though, a good book packed with a lot of interesting information about the Six Day War.
A wonderful breakdown of the events leading up to, through, and after the Six day war of June 1967. It broke the events down into manageable chunks that can be digested and incorporated into the larger understanding of the story. I was impressed by the Narrator as well.
If you are interested in history, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, or Israel then I recommend reading this book.
This book is a must for anyone who wants to know the story of six day war.
The book is even handed and fair and is not biased at all.
I would recommend this book for all who want to read a correct and accurate history of the famous six day war.
I almost feel bad giving this book 3 stars. It is incredible thorough, explaining what led to the war and how it affected the Middle East for years after (including current issues). But it was too detailed for my taste, an abridged version would have sufficed (maybe a 6 or 7 hour summary). For those who are looking for a complete and thorough discussion, this is certainly the book for them.
I have been reading about the "Six Days War" for over 40 years. This is, without doubt, the best one volume history that I have 'read'. It blends detailed political, military and human issues with a dexterity rarely encountered. Although knowing the outcome, I was glued to the book - it is a real page turner.
The narrator has a voice that is invisible - all you hear is the story.
I commend this volume to all students of history and the Middle East.
Much, much more detailed than I expected! I was expecting more focus on the Six Day War. This book was more about the history of Israel from 1948 up to the 1967 six-day war. It goes into intricate detail. I finally gave up on the book after 10 hours, and it hadn't even gotten into the 1967 war yet!
I would not recommend this book, because I felt the title was misleading.