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This exceptionally balanced account of Jews and Arabs living side by side in Israel combines poetic descriptions of life in the Holy Land with perceptive discussions of the ways in which two cultures are attempting to reconcile their differences. (S 1 86 Upfront)

Library Journal
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int affairs The political and military dimensions of the middle Eastern crisis are the common stuff of headlines and books; Shipler focuses instead on the human dimension. In portraits of Arabs and Jews from all walks of life and political perspectives, he examines the ``attitudes, images, and stereotypes that Arabs and Jews have of one another, the roots of their aversions, and the complex interactions between them. . . .'' The effects of war, nationalism, terrorism, religion, and history come to life, illuminated by Shipler's insights drawn from his five-year residence in Jerusalem and his wide reading. While he concludes with a dream of a peaceful society growing out of direct links among the youth of the two groups, he offers no promise that such a dream can survive the hatred, fear, and pain. Highly recommended. Elizabeth R. Hayford, President, Assoc. Colls. of the Midwest, Chicago (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly
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The Jew, in the Arab stereotype, is a brutal, violent coward; the Arab, to the prejudiced Jew, is a primitive creature of animal vengeance and cruel desires. There is remarkable symmetry in these images, as Shipler (Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams points out in this hefty mixture of reportage, personal histories, interviews and scholarship. An act of courage and clarity, the book is an important contribution to the literature on the Middle East. The New York Times correspondent shows how Israeli Jews deny the reality that Palestinian Arabs are victims of forcible displacement and expulsion from what was once their homeland; he describes how a ``synthetic Israeli history'' is taught to Jewish schoolchildren, while Palestinian boys and girls in the refugee camps are taught militant rhetoric and hatred. Shipler explores the corrosive effects of terrorism by both sides, the zeal of Islamic fundamentalists, as well as that of Israeli ultraconservatives. BOMC and History Book Club alternates; first serial to the New York Times Magazine. (September 24) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

A history of Jewish-Arab relations in Jerusalem plus an in-depth study of popular misconceptions by both factions and of interacting stereotypes. (S 1 86)

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Shipler, a New York Times correspondent who lived five years in Jerusalem, examines in this monumental work the personal dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Through penetrating interviews and the use of a wide range of printed materials, he probes deeply into three aspects of the human dilemma in the Holy Land. First, Shipler explores the sources of mutual fears and hatreds of Arabs and Jews resulting from war, nationalism, terrorism, and religious absolutism. Then he traces the origin of distorted stereotypes to factors such as newspapers, films, children's textbooks, and other literature. Finally, he describes the personal interactions of Jews and Arabs (sometimes heartbreaking in outcome) in relationships such as love and marriage, employment, and official control of minorities by the army, the secret police, and bureaucracy. Throughout the study, Shipler manifests a deep and genuine sympathy for both Israelis and Palestinians, and focuses whenever possible on the individual rather than the group. He consistently seeks to promote understanding rather than hostility among his readers. This is the most impressive work of its type yet published. It can usefully be supplemented by earlier works such as Fouzi El-Asmar's To Be An Arab in Israel (2nd ed., Beirut, 1978), Peter Grose's A Changing Israel (1985), and Ian Lustick's Arabs in the Jewish State (CH, Nov '80). Highly recommended for all libraries.-G.B. Doxsee, Ohio University