Gr 7 Up-This book serves as an excellent introduction to a fractious part of the world and the roots of the conflict that has taken so many lives and proven so difficult to mediate. The author traces some of the history of Zionism, but concentrates mostly on the modern period, beginning with the formation of the state of Israel in 1948. Although the several wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors are covered, most of the story is about the struggles between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a fair and balanced account and the grievances of the Palestinians are given a thorough treatment, along with the internal politics of several Israeli governments. Wagner's greatest strength, however, is in profiling the many personalities who have shaped the region and the conflict. Anwar Sadat, Golda Meir, Yasir Arafat, and Ariel Sharon are all depicted as major players whose action or inaction has had an impact on this ongoing violence. Full-color photos appear throughout. However, sources are not cited, and there is no bibliography.-David Pauli, Hillsboro Public Library, OR Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.