The History of Israel / Edition 1

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Overview

Every school and public library should update its resources on the history of Israel with this engagingly written and succinct narrative history from biblical times through 1997. This readable history, based on the most recent scholarship, provides a chronological narrative that examines the political, religious, and social components of Israel's turbulent history. A thorough examination of the events from the Six Day War of 1967 through the struggle for peace in 1997 is of special interest. The work provides a timeline of events in the history of Israel, biographical sketches of key figures in Israeli history, and an annotated bibliography of books of interest to students and general readers.

The prologue gives an overview of the land, its government, resources, and culture. The first few chapters describe the earliest history of the land through the 19th century settlement of European Jews seeking to escape persecution and to build a Jewish state. Following the Holocaust, refugees poured into the region and political and military struggle culminated in the birth of the State of Israel in 1948. Blumberg, an expert on the history of Israel, then details the years of growth and successive wars with Israel's Arab neighbors from 1948 through 1973. In an extended discussion, he examines the political turbulence within Israel from the late 1970s through 1997, Israel's relations with its neighbors and the international community, and the progress and setbacks in the struggle for peace between Israel and the Arabs.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Susan H. Levine
Part of The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations series, designed to give "up to-date, concise, and analytical histories of many of the nations of the contemporary world," The History of Israel stresses the events of the past thirty years. Each volume in the series provides the history as well as an "overview of the country's geography, political institutions, economic structure, and cultural attributes." Starting with a description of life in modern Israel, Blumberg (Professor of History at Towson University in Towson, Maryland) quickly covers Israel's early history, from 3,500 years ago to World War I. In a textbook style attractively arranged in short sections with subheadings (pleasing to the eye and helpful for absorbing information), the author looks more in-depth at the political events in Israel and the influences of the ruling Ottoman Turks and English, ethnic groups, neighboring nations, and world organizations and events. The battles leading to independence, the isolation of Israel, conflicts within Israel, the Suez Crisis and subsequent wars, the Intifada, the development of the PLO, and the Peace Process are described in a manner that enables readers to have a much better understanding of the events happening in Israel now. A listing of the "Notable People in the History of Israel," containing a short paragraph for each person, and a "Selected Annotated Bibliography" are included. Schroeter, the Teller Family chair in Jewish History at the University of California, Irvine, takes a broad look at Israel's history. Starting with events from over 3,000 years ago he briefly describes the beginnings of Judaism and then continues through the centuries, focusing on the major historical events taking place in the land variously known as Canaan, Israel, Judah (Judea), Palestine, and the State of Israel; influential people; changes in Judaism; international and regional influences; and the three major conflicts Israel currently faces-between Arabs and Jews, between secular and religious Jews, and between different Jewish ethnic groups. This An Illustrated History series title contains many photographs and illustrations of historical people, objects, and places, as well as quotations from primary sources such as Nehemiah, William of Tyre, the Churchhill White Paper, and Palestinian refugee and writer Fawaz Turki. Sidebars of related information cover such topics as the Second Temple, "Manya Shohat: A Revolutionary Zionist Pioneer," and Anatoly Sharansky. A list of prime ministers and presidents is given, but incorrectly gives 1998 as the ending date for both Netanyahu and Weizman. Schroeter gives a broader view of Israeli history and culture, progressing through the centuries at a slower pace. Blumberg gives a more detailed political look at Israel, moving rapidly through the early years and providing greater detail about the more recent years. The two authors' accounts about Count Bernadotte illustrate their differences: Blumberg describes who Bernadotte was, his role in a plan to bring peace to the area, the results of the plan's failure, and the effects of his assassination (all in about a page and a half). Schroeter sums up the events in one paragraph, the vast majority being a quotation by an eyewitness detailing the assassination. Because Blumberg's book is more political, he writes with more of a point of view. He appears conservative (more supportive of the Likud Party) and more critical of Labor, particularly Shimon Peres. Schroeter provides readers with a little more understanding of Arab and Palestinian actions. There are a few errors in the Blumberg book. It states the Peel Partition recommended that the Negev region was to be Arab, but the corresponding map shows the Negev area to be part of the Jewish state (the Negev is not labeled on the map). One sentence states that Peres became prime minister "only after Rabin was assassinated," yet he was prime minister from 1984-86. Additionally, the narrative outline style of Blumberg's book is easier to read than Schroeter's lighter print and more daunting three-column pages. The information for both books ends with 1997. Index. Maps. Biblio. Chronology. Note: This review was written and published to address two titles: The History of Israel and Israel: An Illustrated History. VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P J S (Readable without serious defects, For the YA reader with a special interest in the subject, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Booknews
Briefly surveys from earliest times to the late 19th century and the beginnings of Zionism that led to the creation of the modern state in 1949. Then narrates the two decades of growth, the 1967 Six-Day War and six-year aftermath, the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Likud revolution 1977-83, a decade of uncertainty, and the peace process 1992-96. Includes substantial profiles of major figures and an annotated bibliography. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

ARNOLD BLUMBERG is Professor of History at Towson University in Towson, Maryland.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword

Preface

Timeline of Historical Events

Prologue

A Survey of Zion's Earlier History

The Old Yishuv, 1833-1880

The New Yishuv and Zionism's First Two Aliyoth, 1881-1914

The Third, Fourth, and Fifth Aliyoth, 1919-1939

The Holocaust and the Struggle for Survival, 1939-1948

Birth of the State of Israel, 1947-1949

Years of Growth, 1949-1966

The Six Days' War and Heady Self-Confidence, 1967-1973

The Yom Kippur War and Reappraisal, 1973-1977

The Likud Revolution, 1977-1983

The Uncertain Direction, 1983-1992

Meretz Holds the Helm; The Peace Process, 1992-1996

Epilogue

Notable People in the History of Israel

Selected Annotated Bibliography

Index

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