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The Land of Blood and Honey: The Rise of Modern Israel [NOOK Book]

Overview


The definitive one-volume history of Israel by its most distinguished historianFrom 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 ...
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The Land of Blood and Honey: The Rise of Modern Israel

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Overview


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

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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.)
From the Publisher
"A concise and readable history of Israel written by someone who has lived a better part of it."—Seattle JTNews

“An unapologetic, well-written, and often convincing single volume history of Israel that regards the establishment, survival, and prospering of that nation as a remarkable and admirable achievement…a worthy effort to promote a particular vision of Israel’s past and future prospects.”—Booklist

"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....[A] first-rate study."—Publishers Weekly 

"Martin van Creveld, so well known for his military histories, has produced an exemplary political, cultural, and intellectual history of Israel. It is concise without being glib, fair-minded with losing its edge and authoritative personal voice. I read this through in a sitting with great enjoyment and edification."—James Fallows, journalist, The Atlantic

"Martin Van Creveld uses the widest strokes of history to set up a canvas on which he paints an intriguing picture of modern day Israel. For two decades, I have interviewed Van Creveld to get an 'out of the box' understanding of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. The Land of Blood and Honey proves that Martin’s intimate knowledge of history has never inhibited his penchant for original thought."—Michael Schwartz, CNN correspondent in Israel

"An excellent book that combines an accurate historical perspective, strategic vision, and a most fascinating way of writing."—Ehud Olmert, former prime minister of Israel

"Martin Van Creveld is either the world's leading military historian, or near enough. He has now applied his celebrated skills to the modern history of an entire country, albeit one not lacking in military experiences, to say the least. As an Israeli himself, he is more critical than most non-Israelis would be, given the country's vast achievements. But the Van Creveld virtues are intact: the book illuminates its subject, every paragraph is worth reading, every phrase is well written."—Edward N. Luttwak, veteran military commentator, author of The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire

"The best short history of Israel."—Walter Laqueur, author of The Last Days of Europe

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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429943680
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/3/2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 805,383
  • File size: 656 KB

Meet the Author


MARTIN VAN CREVELD is the world’s leading Israeli military historian and theorist. He holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he has been on the faculty since 1971. He is the author of seventeen books on military history and strategy and has lectured or taught at virtually every strategic institute in the Western world.
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