Since its creation, the State of Israel has been a magnet for attention. A country beset by conflict in its region and faced with the need to integrate immigrants of disparate backgrounds into a modern and advanced state, Israel has preoccupied observers, scholars, and journalists since its independence in 1948. Israel and its politics have been the subject of substantial and often highly partisan literature, being hotly and vigorously debated both at home and abroad. The second edition of the Historical ...
Since its creation, the State of Israel has been a magnet for attention. A country beset by conflict in its region and faced with the need to integrate immigrants of disparate backgrounds into a modern and advanced state, Israel has preoccupied observers, scholars, and journalists since its independence in 1948. Israel and its politics have been the subject of substantial and often highly partisan literature, being hotly and vigorously debated both at home and abroad. The second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Israel addresses the need in the literature on Israel for a comprehensive impartial information source about the various diplomatic and political personalities, institutions, organizations, events, concepts, and documents that together define the political life of the Jewish state. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries on significant persons, places, events, government institutions, political parties, and battles, as well as entries on Israel's economy, society, and culture.
Reich's selection seems judicious...extremely useful reference work, which will certainly be consulted frequently by all those interested in the State of Israel..
Despite its small size, Israel continues to fascinate, amaze, anger, and puzzle observers all over the globe. Yet it is probably fair to say that few people know much about it except for the superficial knowledge garnered from headlines in newspapers or from television and radio programs. Even keen observers often grope for explanations of terms, concepts, and names that appear in connection with news stories. This dictionary, which serves as a good introduction to the subject, is the only one of its kind in the English language and is thus a useful reference work for professionals and lay readers alike. It contains a brief introduction to the evolution of the state, a number of useful tables, maps, a chronology of Jewish and Israeli history, and a selected bibliography. One suggestion for the subsequent edition: listing references immediately following major entries so as to enhance the work's usefulness.-- Jehuda Reinharz, Tauber Inst., Brandeis Univ., Waltham, Mass.
This is number 8 in Scarecrow's Asian Historical Dictionaries series. Additional titles cover Indonesia, Jordan, Vietnam, and other nations. The compiler is a professor of international affairs at George Washington University and has written previously about the Middle East and Israel. His "Political Leaders of the Contemporary Middle East and North Africa: A Biographical Dictionary" was favorably reviewed here [RBB My 15 90] The new work aims to provide a comprehensive reference source on the people, places, and events that contributed to the modern Jewish state. The book begins with a 19-page chronology from Abraham through January 1992, including the current peace conference. It relates directly to the dictionary by capitalizing words that are entries. A list of tables follows, providing the years when presidents, prime ministers, and other leaders were in office; statistics on immigration to Palestine/Israel each year from 1882 through 1989; the population of the new state by religion; and the text of the 1948 Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel A 22-page introduction provides an overview of the contents. The bulk of the work is a dictionary of clearly written entries, ranging from a few sentences to a few pages, depending on the topic. Running heads at the top of each page and "see also" references assist the reader. Years of birth and death are given in biographies. Representative entries include "Arabs in Israel", "Balfour Declaration", "Six Day War", and "World Zionist Organization" The work's strength is in enabling users to gain a good understanding of the political aspects of the state. Information is balanced, such as in the entry "Intifada", which describes the five-year-old Palestinian uprising. At the end of the work is a 65-page bibliography arranged by subject, from general works to Zionism and anti-Zionism The "Historical Dictionary of Israel" is a thorough, solid reference source on the modern nation. It is also helpful in gaining an understanding of why the past is so important to the country. Placing the extensive bibliography at the back of the work increases the work's value to librarians and advanced students. General users, however, may have found short bibliographic references after the entries more helpful for immediate follow-up. The work will be useful in a wide range of public and academic libraries. While the information can be found in other sources, bringing it together in one source is helpful.
Like others in the series, comprises entries concerning people, places, and events, supplemented with an introduction and a chronology and classified bibliography. Entries vary from a few sentences to several pages, more space being given to anticipated popular research topics. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Clearly written entries...The work's strength is enabling users to gain a good understanding of the political aspects of the state...a thorough, solid reference source...
Middle East Insider
International Journal Of Middle East Studies
Reich's selection seems judicious...extremely useful reference work, which will certainly be consulted frequently by all those interested in the State of Israel.
Journal Of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
This volume fills a void in the literature by providing a convenient reference work in which the reader can obtain objective information about the people, places, and events that contributed to the development of the modern Jewish state.
March 2009 American Reference Books Annual
Focused, fact-finding, and objective.... a worthwhile chronology and detailed bibliography.... a one-stop, educated reference for learning about the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of Israel.
January 2009 Booklist
This work is highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries as a notable reference resource.
Bernard Reich is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University. David H. Goldberg has served for many years as Director of Research for the Canada-Israel Committee in Toronto and has taught political science at York University.