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Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land [Paperback]

By David K. Shipler (Author)
Our Price $ 15.30  
Retail Value $ 18.00  
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Item Number 160753  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   608
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.08" Width: 5.92" Height: 1.27"
Weight:   1.23 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 31, 2001
Publisher   Penguin (Non-Classics)
ISBN  0142002291  
EAN  9780142002292  
UPC  051488017004  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Focusing on the diverse cultures that exist side by side in Israel and Israeli-controlled territories, Shipler examines the process of indoctrination that begins in schools; he discusses the far-ranging effects of socioeconomic differences, historical conflicts between Islam and Judaism, attitudes about the Holocaust, and much more. And he writes of the people: the Arab woman in love with a Jew, the retired Israeli military officer, the Palestinian guerrilla, the handsome actor whose father is Arab and whose mother is Jewish.

Publishers Description
The Jew, according to the Arab stereotype, is a brutal, violent coward; the Arab, to the prejudiced Jew, is a primitive creature of animal vengeance and cruel desires. In this monumental work, revised and more relevant than ever, David Shipler delves into the origins of the prejudices that have been intensified by war, terrorism, nationalism, and the failure of the peace process.
"The best and most comprehensive work there is in the English language on this subject." (Walter Laqueur, "The New York Times")
"A rich, penetrating, and moving portrayal of Arab-Jewish hostility, told in human terms." ("Newsday")

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More About David K. Shipler

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DAVID K. SHIPLERreported forThe New York Timesfrom 1966 to 1988 in New York, Saigon, Moscow, Jerusalem, and Washington, D.C. He is the author of six previous books, including the best sellersRussiaandThe Working Poor, as well asArab and Jew, which won the Pulitzer Prize. He has been a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and has taught at Princeton, American University, and Dartmouth. He writes online atThe Shipler Report.


David K. Shipler was born in 1942.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > General   [2906  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > Israel   [1452  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > History > World > General   [35342  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > History > World   [1586  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Special Groups > Ethnic Studies   [3472  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Deep and insightful; needs to be updated.  Jul 24, 2007
Vivid and personal descriptions of the prejudices, hatreds and mythologies that have become the modern middle-east conflict are richly interwoven with sociological survey data throughout this intriguing book. The author digs deeply into the recent history of this conflict, although he does not look so far back as to give what could be called an ancient historical perspective. Still, the writing is intense and telling, and his illumination of the psychology behind the conflict helps an outsider to understand some of the intricacies of the problems.

As an American, a secular Jew, and a liberal humanist, it was intriguing for me to have this conflict explained in such a balanced and painstaking manner. Interwoven anecdotes from the words and lives of real people opened up the heart of this conflict in a way that is difficult for most outsiders to perceive.

Even so, I was somewhat disappointed that the edition I read had not been updated to deal with much of the conflict in the past few intervening years, which include events such as the construction of the Israeli security wall, 9/11 and the Iraq war. The problem when dealing with modern events is, of course, that as events unfold the history is constantly being written and re-interpreted. Still, I think it behooves a student of current events to have such analysis dealt with in a text such as this.

Overall, I would recommend this as a must-read for any student of the modern middle-east, Israel, Palestine, or any of the other myriad related topics. The book overall is well-constructed, cohesive, and informative.
Enemies immortalized  Dec 10, 2006
This book is a description of life on the ground in Israel and Palestine for both Jews and Palestinians. Written by an American with years of experience in this part of the world, the book shows how individuals on both sides view the other, their leaders, and the greater world. Ironic and idiotic situations are portrayed of neighbors and co-workers adjusting to social norms and peer pressure, while trying to maintain relationships with individuals of the other race. The book shows how Israel and Jewish Israelis try to maintain an image of civilization and normalness while living in a state of occasional civil war. The book also shows how Palestinians are caught in a trap between trying to maintain their own society, yet being economically dependent on Jewish Israelis for business. Most importantly, the book describes how leaders on both sides play to the fears, hopes, and memories of their constituencies.

What the book does lack is a historical underpinning. Very little of the text is devoted to the history of how the Jewish state was founded, of how the intifada came about, or the birth of the PLO, or even the more recent Camp David accords. Instead, this book is more of a work of sociology instead of history, and hence left this reviewer dissatisfied. All in all, a good book, and deserving of the Pultizer Prize which it won. But since its original publication in the mid 1980's, there are many better works on the subject out there.
Good but not great.  Nov 10, 2005
I think the Author put a good attempt at painting a vague picture of these two groups and why the problems exist today. However, well written, it does leave out many of the surrounding facts outside the region that influenced both sides of this debate and the entire history of the region. If one is interested in a more indepth reading from a "leftist" point of view one might read "Secret War Against the Jews" - John Loftus or another very well written and factually presented writing would be "From Time Immemorial" - Joan Peters. If one wishes to read from the "Conservative" point of view I'd suggest "Battleground" - S. Katz, "A Will To Survive" - John Phillips or "6 Days of War" - Michael Oren. For an over all view and broader reading "A History of Israel" - H. Sacher.

When one reads these books it places a better image in the readers mind of what really went on to create such a morass within region. If one wishes to read something from a purely political point of view I would suggest either "The High Cost of Piece" - Y. Bodansky as well "The Oslo Years" - E. Horowitz.

This was a good attempt but I do feel it is very greyish with an underlying agenda that omits many important facts that puts this tragic situation into clear perspective.
An interesting book  Dec 14, 2004
This book has plenty of fascinating anecdotes about the Jews and Arabs in Israel. And it is illuminating. We see negative stereotypes that each have for the other. More than that, I think this book shows some of the reasons why there isn't peace.

While some of the stereotypes are shown to be overstated, the reader will come away with a very negative picture of the people who live in the area. Some people appeared prepared to live, and some to let live, and a few weren't prepared to do either, but very few of the people Shipler showed us seemed ready to do both.

Shipler's description of Arab complaints about Israel were interesting. Sure, many Arabs said they had a devotion to their land. And that's why they needed it back from the Jews. But instead of reacting sympathetically, I asked myself if they were for real. If I were to act the same way, what would I do? Demand, as a descendant of Tatars who were evicted from what is now Yalta, that the Muslim Tatars get Yalta back? Or demand, as a Pagan, that the Dome of the Rock be removed so that we could restore the Temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva?

I rarely see Arabs demand land "back" that is now lived on by other Arabs. Nor would it make sense to anyone to "return" Warsaw to the Jews. Worse, it seemed to me that many Arabs were saying that they would do Anything to get their land back ... except pay for it. And that they would insist on being true Israeli citizens, except they wouldn't fight for Israel! Since I'd never want to live in a country I couldn't support, I found it hard to sympathize with the attitudes of many Israeli Arabs.

Shipler explained to us a common Arab complaint that the Jews are punishing the Arabs for Jewish misfortunes in Europe. But this complaint grossly underestimates Arab blame for what happened to many Jews. And it also tacitly and incorrectly assumes that it should be a crime for Jews to live near Arabs.

Almost all the Jews Shipler described had given plenty of thought to whether overall Jewish behavior made sense. They came up with different answers. But they left me with the impression that if they ever had a chance to make good policy decisions, most of them would do it. That's not the impression I got about the Arabs he depicted.

I think Shipler failed to show us the big picture in this conflict. And to me, the main point is that the Jews have rather little land. In the long run, if everyone chooses peace, the Jews probably will wind up with at least as much land as they now have. The Jews have options. They can fight. They can make allies. They can flee. They can even convert. Yes, they can get badly hurt. But my point is that they have shown great resiliance and have surprisingly little to lose. Their land has few resources. In my opinion, contrary to popular belief, they might well survive the loss of several wars.

Meanwhile, the Arab side is unlikely to lose a big war. But their Empire would be gone if they ever lost one. They have an enormous amount of land and huge resources, and seem to act as though they can't lose it. Instead, there is a huge focus on fighting a war for an arbitrary cause which, if they win it, will give them virtually nothing.

Finally, this whole struggle is being fought primarily between those who believe Jews ought to have human rights in Israel and those who do not. That's not very symmetrical. I have to ask myself if Shipler was helping anyone by allowing folks to get the impression that these two points of view are equally valid. Perhaps it would have been better if he had taken a stand, and simply said that both sides are hurting. And that the Arabs have a choice to make: do they want it to be better for everyone or worse for everyone? That would have allowed me to give his book a couple more stars.
Disappointing for some reason  Aug 1, 2004
I can't quite put a finger on why I was let down by this book; Shipler is an excellent writer and most of the stories in the book are simply great. He seems to excel in finding the perfect anecdote for each situation, so that even though many of the people interviewed hold similar views, each seems to add a new angle to the argument rather than being repetitive. On the other hand, this book seems to have no point. As a collection of stories and personal testimony, it has no equal. But in the end, the narrative just kind of trails off into oblivion; Shipler offers neither solutions nor suggestions, not even direction. Given, he admits at the start of the book that such direction is difficult, if not impossible to offer. But you'd think that especially after revising the book following the collapse of the Oslo Accords, he'd have something to say, some greater point to offer. But, unfortunately, nothing is there, and it seems to harm an otherwise wonderfully written collection.

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