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From the PublisherFareed Zakaria author of The Future of Freedom Joshua Hammer reports like a journalist and writes like a novelist. The result is a gripping book that tells the story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through one town and a dozen people, whose lives come together in the climactic 39-day siege of Bethlehem. There have been many books written about the history, the politics, and the violence of the Middle East. This is a book about the people who live through it all.
Scott Anderson author of The Man Who Tried to Save the World Joshua Hammer has achieved something truly remarkable here: by focusing on a single seminal event in modern Arab-Israeli history — the 2002 siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem — and letting its participants tell their stories, he has cast a piercing light on the passions and furies that plague the Holy Land. Rather than another polemic on the Middle East troubles, A Season in Bethlehem reads like a thriller — a particularly thoughtful and humane one.
Amy Wilentz author of Martyr's Crossing A Season in Bethlehem examines this fascinating, historic city in microcosm, and uses it to explain why the situation in the Middle East is so explosive. Hammer's detailed portraits of all the actors and his incredible ability to create atmosphere bring the whole place to life. His moment-by-moment narration of the siege of the Church of the Nativity is riveting. You can't believe Hammer was so near all this, observing firsthand the terrible tension, the dangerous standoff. A brave book.