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Israel: A History

Anita Shapira

5 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, History, Middle Eastern history

A timely and definitive narrative history of Israel in the context of the modern Jewish experience and the Middle East. Ideal for anyone seeking to understand the roots of the current conflict in Gaza.

Written by one of Israel's most notable scholars, this volume provides a breathtaking history of Israel from the origins of the Zionist movement in the late 19th century to the present day.

Anita Shapira's gripping narrative explores the emergence of Zionism in Europe against the backdrop of relations among Jews, Arabs and Turks, and the earliest pioneer settlements in Palestine under Ottoman rule. Weaving together political, social and cultural developments in Palestine under the British mandate, Shapira creates a tapestry through which to understand the challenges of Israeli nation-building, including mass immigration, shifting cultural norms, the politics of war and world diplomacy, and the creation of democratic institutions and a civil society. References to contemporary diaries, memoirs and literature bring a human dimension to the story of Israel, from its declaration of independence in 1948 through successive decades of waging war, negotiating peace, and building a modern state with a vibrant society and culture.

Based on archival sources and the most up-to-date scholarly research, this authoritative history is a must-read for anyone with a passionate interest in Israel and the Middle East. ISRAEL: A HISTORY will be the gold standard in the field for years to come.

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Praise for Israel: A History

  • [A]n indispensable guide ... The author is at her best focusing on economic, social and culture history - she makes deft use of Hebrew literature to illuminate her points, and she succinctly captures the zeitgeist of the times - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

  • Shapira's ISRAEL has many strengths ... That go hand in hand with her rapid, suggestive illumination of themes - JEWISH REVIEW OF BOOKS

  • A fascinating new one-volume history of Israel by the eminent Israeli historian Anita Shapira explains Arab thinking about partition back in 1947 and the many other unexpected and real events that have comprised Israel's history from the beginnings of the Zionist movement in the 1890s through the second intifada in 2001. Unlike other histories that often tell Israel's story by jumping from one war to the next, this one, called ISRAEL: A HISTORY, captures the nation's diversity and cultural richness along with its existential struggles - JEWISH WEEK

  • This is surely a much-needed primer for an English-language audience that is often unaware of the intricacies of the country's social past, knowing only about the battles and intifadas that seem to make up its history ... Shapira's accessible survey of Israeli history provides a thought-provoking text for those unfamiliar with the Jewish state - JERUSALEM POST

  • The best book in English on Israel's inner workings ... Highly recommended - CHOICE

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