The Land of Blood and Honey: The Rise of Modern Israel

The Land of Blood and Honey: The Rise of Modern Israel

by Martin van Creveld
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The definitive one-volume history of Israel by its most distinguished historian



From its Zionist beginnings at the end of the nineteenth century through the past sixty, tumultuous years, the state of Israel has been, as van Creveld argues, "the greatest success story in the entire twentieth century." In this

See more details below

Overview

The definitive one-volume history of Israel by its most distinguished historian



From its Zionist beginnings at the end of the nineteenth century through the past sixty, tumultuous years, the state of Israel has been, as van Creveld argues, "the greatest success story in the entire twentieth century." In this crisp volume, he skillfully relates the improbable story of a nationless people who, given a hot and arid patch of land and coping with every imaginable obstacle, founded a country that is now the envy of surrounding states. While most studies on Israel focus on the political, this encompassing history weaves together the nation's economic, social, cultural and religious narratives while also offering diplomatic solutions to help Israel achieve peace. Without question, this is the best one-volume history of Israel and its people.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It's no mean feat to sketch the late 19th century rise of Zionism and creation of Israel with economy and compassion, and to deliver an honest appraisal of the country's strengths and weaknesses. That celebrated historian van Creveld (The Culture of War) manages just this, and does so with an easy accessibility, is to be admired. But he inexplicably fails to address Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands until he reaches the 21st century, hardly even mentioning Palestinian opposition until more than half the book is past. Nothing Israel has done in the last 43 years can be understood without considering the money and manpower invested in controlling one and a half million people, to say nothing of its international relations (and wars). To write that "by the 1980s, to be a left-winger meant opposing settlement" or that "one country after another cut its diplomatic ties with Jerusalem " without considering why is to overlook the single greatest factor affecting four decades of Israeli history, an enormous misstep in an otherwise first-rate study. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Van Creveld (history, emeritus, Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem; The Culture of War) updates the crowded canon of 21st-century examinations of Israeli history only three years after Howard M. Sachar's revised third edition of his immense A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time. Even Van Creveld's time line is one Israeli prime minister behind. Like Sachar, Van Creveld begins with the Zionist origins of Israel in 19th-century Europe, but he tells the political story more succinctly and discusses issues such as the American influence on Israeli feminism and popular culture, the decline of the kibbutz, and the dilemmas of Israeli Arabs. His glossary of Hebrew terms also serves as a guide to Israeli political parties. Citing Hebrew language sources, Van Creveld enlivens his history with quotes from major players in that history (often acrid comments on other players) and his own opinions (he claims to have been the first to suggest the construction of a physical barrier between "old" Israel and the territories) on Israeli politics, culture, and society. VERDICT College students especially will prefer this to previous works because of the author's sense of humor and balance in describing the polarizing events in Israel's recent history.—Joel Neuberg, Santa Rosa Junior Coll. Lib., CA
Kirkus Reviews
An authoritative history, and glib patriotic defense, by a veteran historian of Israel. Van Creveld (The Culture of War, 2008, etc.) provides a no-nonsense survey of the establishment of Israel, continually reminding readers of the "amazing" success story of the country and its need to stand up in the face of "endless and often highly unfair criticism." Without getting bogged down in details, the author fashions five sweeping chapters in which to group the great events of the nation's founding. "Forged in Fury" moves from the rise of Zionism both as a growth of Jewish self-identity in the West and a reaction against anti-Semitism, especially after the Dreyfus Affair. Pogroms in Russia prompted the first migrations, often by young socialists, while the Balfour Declaration of 1917 assured a "national home for the Jewish people" as a bulwark against Ottoman rule. Van Creveld charges briskly through the early clashes with the Arabs as Jewish emigration grew, the strengthening of the military into the Israel Defense Forces and the defeat of the combined Arab armies in 1948, which gave rise to the great myth of Israel's fight for existence, "a miracle beyond compare." In "Full Steam Ahead," the author explores the rocky consolidation of government especially in terms of the place of religion and the creation of a viable economy. "The Nightmare Years" ensued when Israel's attempted transformation of the Middle East after the 1967 war rendered it a world pariah, until the Camp David Accords opened prospects for peace. The final two chapters, "New Challenges" and "Tragedy, Triumph and Struggle," delineate the failed reactions to subsequent Palestinian uprisings and changes in leadership, and consider important currents in the economy, feminism, education, cultural life and Americanization of society. In concluding remarks, van Creveld admits frankly that if Israel wants a "to lead a ?normal' life in accordance with its own basic values," it has to deal with the Palestinians. However, the author lectures readers rather gallingly that Israeli Arabs have it better in Israel than in most Arab countries. A concise history by an author confident with his scope and authority-but beware that van Creveld has a considerable axe to grind. Jewish Bookfair Circuit. Agent: Leslie Gardner/Artellus Ltd.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429943680
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
08/03/2010
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
683,802
File size:
1 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >