Winner Takes All: A Season in Israel

Winner Takes All: A Season in Israel

by Stephen Brook

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Brook begins this travelogue of Israel by plunging into the Old City of Jerusalem, a crazy quilt where Jews, Armenians, Greek Orthodox and Moslems co-exist in amity. As he talks to frustrated Arabs in the Occupied Territories, lives on a kibbutz where Jewish children are taught tolerance and the Arabic language, attends a rally held by recently slain ``scare-mongering . . . racist'' Meir Kahane, and sounds out secular and ultra-orthodox Jews, indigenous Israeli Arabs, Druzes, an Ethiopian nun and others, he introduces readers to an Israel few tourists get to know. Brook is a travel writer ( New York Days, New York Nights ) and a British Jew who strongly supports the existence of Israel yet feels uncomfortable with the very notion of a Jewish state. This lends his clear-eyed, alert narrative an objective detachment. He believes Israel must reach a political accommodation--but finds scant evidence of reciprocal willingness by Arabs to live in peace. (Jan.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Brook spent months exploring Israel, aiming to write a book explaining the country. His viewpoint was defined both by his identity as a British Jew who felt more like a citizen of Europe than a Zionist and by his successful career as a travel writer. His book is informative, amusing, and well written, but its tone is descriptive rather than analytical, his focus social rather than political. His light approach in portraying the diversity of people, places, and attitudes that characterize this vital, bumptious country jars with his somber conclusion that `` . . . the great dream seems to be turning into nightmare.'' The despair over the current political deadlock expressed in his last chapter almost seems tacked on to his upbeat encounters and vignettes. This dissonant picture contrasts with David Shipler's Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land ( LJ 11/15/86), which presents a more sharply focused portrait depicting the range of human engagements and perspectives in Israel.-- Elizabeth R. Hayford, Associated Colls. of the Midwest, Chicago

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Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
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1.00(w) x 1.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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