How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less

How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less

by Sarah Glidden


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When Sarah Glidden took a “Birthright Israel” tour, she thought she knew what she was getting herself into. But when she got to Israel, she found that things weren’t quite so simple. HOW TO UNDERSTAND ISRAEL is Sarah’s memoir not only of her Israeli governmentsponsored trip through Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Masada and other famous locations, but of the emotional journey she never expected to take while she was there. Her experience clashes with her preconceived notions again and again, particularly when she tries to take a non-chaperoned trip into the West Bank. Sarah is forced to question first her political beliefs and, ultimately, her own sense of identity, until she finds that to understand Israel she first must come to understand herself.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781401222345
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication date: 08/30/2011
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Sarah Glidden is a graduate of Boston University and lives in Seattle. Her comics have appeared in The Guardian, the Nib, Haaretz, and the Jewish Quarterly. In 2010, Glidden shadowed journalists from The Seattle Globalist as they reported from Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. Their interviews with refugees and internally displaced people form her second book, Rolling Blackouts.

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How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It may be a strong assessment, but I think that the word "propaganda" is accurate.
dchaikin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
32. How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden (2010, 201 pages, read June 14-16)When Sarah Glidden dragged a friend along on a birthright tour of Israel ¿ a free trip available to any non-Israeli Jews¿she brings her proud skepticism. She is an American Jew uncomfortable with Israel, something that I can share with her, and something that I know isn¿t all that common. I keep quiet about it in RL. Although Sarah was probably a bit more extreme than me, not to mention a whole lot more knowledgeable. Nonetheless, the point here, a bit obvious now, is that I completely identified with her.But Israel brought her down. Arriving essentially ready to start a fight, she is surprised to find the tour guides and Israeli helpers are actually pretty reasonable about hot issues, and pretty nice about her pointed questions. And then there¿s the tour and moment after moment that is simply very moving for a Jew in Israel. Sarah holds out, and I did along with her, but no one else on tour did. Instead they simply melted in awe. And then, finally, she breaks down, and I did right along with her.What a book to cry over? No one gets hurt, nothing bad happens. But yet there are these conflicted emotions, all the problems and all these things that are so important to the Jewish identity and it¿s all mixed up. And there are no answers.Anyway¿So I kind of liked the book. Did I mention it¿s a beautifully illustrated graphic novel?
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story of the author's travels in Israel on a Birthrite trip, where young Jews are taken on tours to learn about the country. She tells how seeing the country and meeting the people challenged her pre-existing ideas.
mikewick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another stellar graphic novel proving that the medium has an essential place in storytelling, this comic is the first full-length effort by Sarah Glidden and should be shelved alongside Joe Sacco's works and Maus in terms of its importance for fostering an intelligent discussion of the troubles between Israel and Palestine. It doesn't touch on the extreme alienation and despair of Sacco & Spiegelman's works because Glidden's story is of an American-born Jew who takes the birthright trip with the intention of reinforce her preconceived pro-Palestinian ideas that most college students sporting a keffiyeh share. As the trip progresses, her prejudices begin to break down through a very emotional process as she begins to formulate her own opinion. While the ending of the book leaves us with the same question Sarah was asking herself at the beginning, the process of reading it allows us to encounter and embrace our own uncertainty of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
DeepThoughts More than 1 year ago
Part memoir and part geopolitical expose, How to Understand Israel has taught me more about the Israel-Palestine conflict that just about anything else I've ever read. Finally I have a fair grasp of the complex historical background and the various layers of tension between the two groups. The author is frank about her own uncertainties and changes of opinion as her "Birthright Trip" proceeds, which makes this book much more approachable than the numerous academics texts on the same subject. For anyone who thinks that graphic novels are all about superheroes, prepare to be surprised. How to Understand Israel is smart, compassionate, and well worth the read.