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Enemies and Neighbors

Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017
By: Ian Black
Narrated by: Michael Page
Length: 20 hrs and 4 mins
Categories: History, Political
4 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Enemies and Neighbors, Ian Black, who has spent over three decades covering events in the Middle East and is currently a fellow at the London School of Economics, offers a major new history of the Arab-Zionist conflict from 1917 to today. Laying the historical groundwork in the final decades of the Ottoman Era, when the first Zionist settlers arrived in the Holy Land, Black draws on a wide range of sources - from declassified documents to oral histories to his own vivid on-the-ground reporting - to recreate the major milestones in the most polarizing conflict of the modern age from both sides.

In the third year of World War I, the seed was planted for an inevitable clash: Jerusalem Governor Izzat Pasha surrendered to British troops and Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour issued a fateful document sympathizing with the establishment of "a national home for the Jewish people". The chronicle takes us through the Arab rebellion of the 1930s; the long shadow of the Nazi Holocaust; the war of 1948 - culminating in Israel's independence and the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe); the "cursed victory" of the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Palestinian re-awakening; the first and second Intifadas; the Oslo Accords; and other failed peace negotiations and continued violence up to 2017.

©2017 Ian Black (P)2018 Tantor

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Informative but Dry

The author seems neutral and unbiased on a very polarizing subject. Lots of information to absorb on a decades long conflict

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

History Overwhelmed by Details

I found this not a good book to listen to. It's very long (20 hours) and, for me, main events and important points got lost in the excruciating detailing of events. The narrator, whose voice I found wearing, didn't help. I may buy it as a reference book, but in the end, the history overall is sadly rather simple.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

An Unabashed Travesty

I have read some thirty books on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Nearly all of them take sides in terms of style and selection of facts. I accept that as it is inevitable when reading any history, yet I read them anyway to make sure I understand both perspectives. This book (which I forced myself to complete,) stands out as the most distorted and misleading so far. How an author and publisher could produce a history of this terrible conflict covering a century and virtually excise the role of radical Islamic ideology is an affront to the discipline of history. I will offer two examples that illustrate the point; The meeting between Al Husaini and Hitler is reduced to a single sentence. Never mind they conspired to commit genocide. The bombing of the King David hotel brazenly omits the warnings to evacuate that were ignored. If you are eager to thoroughly distort your understanding of this conflict, by all means, listen to this book. But if you do, I recommend reading Alan Dershowitz's "the case for Israel" and "the case against Israel's enemies". Together, they are shorter than this travesty and offer facts before propaganda. It would go a long way in further cultivating your Intellectual integrity.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful