A History of Modern Israel

Overview

Colin Shindler's remarkable history begins in 1948, as waves of immigrants arrived in Israel from war-torn Europe to establish new cities, new institutions, and a new culture founded on the Hebrew language. Optimistic beginnings were soon replaced with the sobering reality of wars with Arab neighbours, internal ideological differences, and ongoing confrontation with the Palestinians. The author paints a broad canvas that affords unusual insights into Israel's multicultural society, forged from more than one ...
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A History of Modern Israel

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Overview

Colin Shindler's remarkable history begins in 1948, as waves of immigrants arrived in Israel from war-torn Europe to establish new cities, new institutions, and a new culture founded on the Hebrew language. Optimistic beginnings were soon replaced with the sobering reality of wars with Arab neighbours, internal ideological differences, and ongoing confrontation with the Palestinians. The author paints a broad canvas that affords unusual insights into Israel's multicultural society, forged from more than one hundred different Jewish communities and united by a common history. In this updated edition, Shindler covers the significant developments of the last decade, including the rise of the Israeli far right, Hamas's takeover and the political rivalry between Gaza and the West Bank, Israel's uneasy dealings with the new administration in the United States, political Islam, the expansion of the Jewish settlements on the West Bank and the potential impact of the Arab Spring on the region as a whole. This sympathetic yet candid portrayal asks how a nation that emerged out of the ashes of the Holocaust and was the admiration of the world is now perceived by many Western governments in a less than benevolent light.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

This work focuses on the evolution of political parties, power, and ideology in independent Israel, which has its 60th birthday in May. Shindler (Israeli & modern Jewish studies, Univ. of London) emphasizes the ongoing search for security for the new state, providing a solid, detailed overview of the growth of the Zionist vision and six decades of Israeli development through the intifada and the Lebanese war in 2006. While Israel became a populous, prosperous, and militarily dominant nation, peace with its neighbors remained elusive. Progress toward peace was undermined both by the increasing strength of right-wing nationalist and religious parties in Israel and corruption, disorganization, and emerging Islamist militancy among Palestinians. The hopes raised by negotiations through the 1990s were eroded by increasing violence. Shindler provides a rich portrait of the shifting party configurations and alliances, along with vibrant sketches of key political leaders. He assumes that his readers have a general knowledge of Israeli history, enabling them to follow his careful political and ideological analysis. An important, up-to-date volume for serious readers in both general and academic libraries.
—Elizabeth R. Hayford Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

From the Publisher
"Colin Shindler's history of Israel is a major contribution to our understanding of the country and the turbulent area in which it is situated. It is scrupulously balanced and thoroughly researched. In sharp contrast to much current discussion of the Middle East, Shindler's study cuts through the slogans and propaganda that have come to shape debate on both sides to offer clear and compelling insight into Israel's development. We are all in his debt." - Professor Shalom Lappin, Kings College, University of London

"Colin Shindler's outstanding book is a model of judicious scholarship. It is so comprehensive, it will transform our understanding of the history of the entire Middle East." - Anthony Julius, Birckbeck College, London University and Mishcon de Reya

"Colin Shindler understands Israel from the inside. There are few who can tell the complex story of Israel's sixty years with such clarity and such depth. This is a remarkable work." - Professor Tudor Parfitt, SOAS, University of London

"Comprehensive, lucid, and full of insights; this is a book that will reward each reader with its wisdom and balance." - Sir Martin Gilbert

"...as a chronicler of missed opportunities, wrong turnings and might-have-been moments, it provides a blow-by-blow account ... an important voice at this time and worth consulting." - Chartist

"The ups and downs of Israeli democracy over the past 60 years are chronicled in Colin Shindler's readable, comprehensive but concise A History of Modern Israel... Shindler's book, like Morris's, will set the standard for some time for excellent scholarship shedding light on Israel's history, both bright and dark sides."- The Australian

"Shindler's recount of Israeli history is one that enables the reader to understand the social and political cleavages that make up Israel of 2008 while looking back at 1948. It is that lens that would help any student of the Arab-Israeli conflict to not repeat history but learn how to move Israel forward toward the next 60 years." - The Jerusalem Post

"This timely book, which appears as the Jewish state celebrates its 60th anniversary, is an informative account of the history of Israel. Recommended." - Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107671775
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 370
  • Sales rank: 1,401,694
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Colin Shindler is Emeritus Professor and Pears Senior Research Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is also founding chairman of the European Association of Israel Studies.
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Table of Contents

1. Zionism and security; 2. The Hebrew republic; 3. New immigrants and first elections; 4. The politics of piety; 5. Retaliation or self-restraint; 6. The rise of the right; 7. The road to Beirut; 8. Dissent at home and abroad; 9. An insurrection before a handshake; 10. The end of ideology?; 11. The killing of a prime minister; 12. The magician and the bulldozer; 13. He does not stop at the red light; 14. An unlikely grandfather; 15. A brotherly conflict; 16. Bialik's bequest?; 17. Stagnation and isolationism; 18. An Arab spring and an Israeli winter?
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