©1972 Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre; (P)2003 New Millennium Audio, All Rights Reserved
"A history that not only clarifies the military and political events of the war but brings its human dimensions vividly to life." (The National Observer)
"A story as dramatic, as miraculous, as full of wonder as any ever told." (New York Times Book Review)
I downloaded this book because I realized I held strong opinions about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict but did not know the history behind the current state of affairs. This book has shown me the complicated chain of events, the passions of the people involved and the historical facts surrounding the emergence of Israel.
This book contains a good deal of information and narrative history concerning both Arab and Jewish actions leading to the emergence of the Israeli state. While it is obviously written from a Jewish perspective, it pulls no punches. It becomes obvious that terrorism upon civilians in Jerusalem was not a uniquely Arab creation, but rather a stradegy employed by both sides.
It is apparent when reading this that the road towards the present conflict was set long before the partitioning of Palestine. The Jews' struggle is framed as one of survival from the onset.
This is not a dry review of historical facts, nor is it written in a strict chronological format. While it's sequence jumps around alot, the historical facts are personalized by the accounts of people invloved. It tells their story (both Arab and Jew) and makes this a human struggle for the reader rather than a sterile walk towards present day.
This is a LONG narration and while I have 2 hours to spare each day during my commute, if you are not already interested in the story of Israel's emergence, you may be overwhelmed by the length.
Overall: I really, really liked this book. It was refreshingly absent of the rhetoric that dominates current analysis of the conflict.
If you are interested in this area of history, this is a great piece of work! The detail given is exceptional. The amount of research necessary to put this book together must have been staggering. I highly recommend.
Bikel's wonderful narration brings this story to life. Listening to this book provides a birds eye view of the birth of Israel. Terrific detail on the personalities and day-to-day battles from both sides...Arab and Israeli.
Some books about history and places, and their true hidden gist can be grasped only after you touch the stones, breath the air, toddle through its streets. That was my experience about "O Jerusalem !" by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Colins. The book describes the most contested part of Jerusalem history - the time of War in 1948 - the war launched by Arabs on the news of United Nations creation of Jewish State.
It is very detailed, epic, 600 pages of reading (or about 18 hours of listening). And it is great experience. You get deep into the individual people emotions, but you also get very good account of the global and regional history of the time.
Authors are really very objective. They did not write only black & white adoration of Jewish heroes of the time. They write about the dark sides as well. This dark sides resonated in my heart with the words and thoughts of my orthodox Jewish friend - though not in a direct simple way....
But above all it shows how incredibly difficult time Jerusalem had between 1947 and 1967, until it was reunited as a consequence of another war started by Arab countries.
It shows how precious is every stone, every inch of its streets. It weeps over all the victims of the tragedies...
It also tells a lot of amazing and incredible stories about the Jerusalem area - about Hebron and its Kfar Etzion, about Latrun and the heavy fights for this fortress, about famous Burma road and Tomb of Salomon....
It describes in a fascinating, almost like a thriller, the stories of arm purchases for young Israel in Europe, about Golda Meir fund rising for the new born state and so many other fascinating stories.
When it comes to the mood - it has a kind of melancholic-epic character, but - in a very positive sense of the world - it reflects the feelings you have there.
I recommend the book to everybody who plans to go to Jerusalem. I promise - you will look at its stone from a different perspective...
I have read many books on the Arab-Israeli conflict. But none has given the background of the personalities like this author has. I was completely enthralled throughout the telling of this story. It has the perfect blend of historical facts (that tend to bore one) and anecdotes (making it more interesting) that is rare in today's literature.
What a compelling drama of human history. They tell the straight story, not pulling any punches, whether in dealing with the Jewish atrocities at Deir Yassin or the Arab brutality at Kvar Etzion. The war of Israeli Independence was a frightful, desperate struggle, and I had never contemplated the countless tragedies and victories that it contains.
If you want to better understand the current conflict in the Holy Land, this book will benefit you.
Wow!!! Loved this book. From thousands of interviews and research the authors managed to take facts, dates and events and blend them into a book that told a story from the perspective of both the Jews and Arabs. No taking either side but giving a VERY detailed chronological order of events which led to the establishment of the Jewish state. Anyone interested in learning about what drives the current events in the Middle East should read this book to provide the most comprehensive background of events. One of the best non-fiction books ever written and a MUST for anyone interested in the Arab/Jew conflict. I am neither Jewish or Arab but I found the book absolutely superb, download it now for a great journey through the history of Jerusalem before and after WW11
This is a fascinating account of the formation of Israel that puts the current Middle East crisis in some perspective. In short, this period of time was remarkable due to the clash of cultures, widely different approaches to war, superpower influences, and incredible stakes. The prelude to the British pullout was very interesting as each side positioned themselves for the start of a certain war. The narrator used to play Tevya in "Fiddler on the Roof," so his voice provides a strong reading with pronounciations that I'd never get on my own in the book format. Highly recommended.
This book is a rare gem - educational and extremely interesting. I can't put it down (or rather turn off my player), and yet it also provides a great and unbiased overview of the founding of the state of Israel and the tragedy of the people of Palestine (both Jew and Arab). I highly recommend it, you'll enjoy it no matter your political leanings.
when seeking the roots of the current quagmire in the middle east, this book captures the seminal moments of its modern inception. its focus on people, on individuals, on the minute events of daily life give it a force no political/cultural analysis could equal. gives me goosebumps...and i'm no more 'for' one side, arab or jew, than the other. very egalitarian. non-partisan. masterful.
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