“The most illuminating, evenhanded, candid appraisal of the contemporary Jewish condition yet to appear.”—Newsweek
Israel was built on dreams and strivings, on humanistic principles and hard labor. What was conceived as a country of peace and dignity, however, has emerged as a society of contradictions, ethnic tensions, clashes between the religious and the secular—a society buffeted by extreme changes in both national and international politics. The ideals of the founders have floundered in the reality of wars and violence.
In this dramatic, fair-minded portrait of Israel, Amos Elon places the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East in brilliant historic perspective. In illuminating the political and philosophical background of the State of Israel, he offers rare insight into the rise to power of Menachem Begin and the complications of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, and he shows how Zionism, ironically, led to the development of its bittersweet enemy, the Palestinian nationalist movement.
“Superb . . . A deliberate act of self-awareness exploring how a people got where they are.”—Time
About the Author
Amos Elon, a frequent essayist, lecturer, and critic, is well known for his articles in the New Yorker and New York Review of Books.