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Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land, Revised and Updated
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Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land, Revised and Updated

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  305 ratings  ·  37 reviews
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, David Shipler delves into the origins of the prejudices that have been intensified by war, terrorism, and nationalism. Focusing on the diverse cultures that exist side by side in Isr...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published December 31st 2001 by Penguin Books (first published 1986)
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David
Dec 27, 2009 David added it




In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the toy company Kenner produced Star Wars action figures (a.k.a. plastic dolls, with guns). Kenner therefore is responsible in many ways for developing my imagination. For example, many a languorous August afternoon, I had the Walrus Man action figure give it to the Princess Leia (Bespin Gown) action figure straight up the butt. Of course, I didn't really know or understand the precise mechanics of what they were supposed to be doing, but I was sure it was very...more
JK
Aug 20, 2007 JK rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: arabs and jews
To those who've ever wanted to understand how complex the Israeli/Palestinian situation is, please read this. The saddest part of the book is when you finish it, turn to the copyright page, realize it was written in 1984 and that zero progress has been made since.
Martin
This is one of the best books on the Arab Israeli issue I have ever read. Since I've read over 200 books on the topic- that actually carries some weight. Quite balanced, really.
Todd Brown
Amazing how tangled this web is. If you think you know who is right and wrong here then you need to read this book.
Miquixote
Admirably tries to play neutral, but he ends up playing the middle ground too much. Time to admit apartheid.
Patrick
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda
Four and a half stars, but I particularly like this author's writing in the parts about Palestinian and Israeli-Jewish youngsters coming together and maybe giving us some hope for the future ... or then again maybe not, as the more things change (since the 80s when this book was written) the more they remain the same (like in the updating footnotes of this revised edition). This is a very informative book. I have a hard time understanding how ANYone thought in the 1940s that establishing the sta...more
John Wiswell
The most thorough examination of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that you are likely to ever find. Shipler worked with the New York Times in Israel for years before taking the time off to compile this book. Within he quotes interviews with and observations of public discussions with hundreds of people, ranging from government officials, police, military, and civilians living at all levels of integration and conflict.

To many Americans this is just two factions of religious nutjobs blowing each o...more
Steve
An informative account of the political, social, and religious divide which chracterises the relationship between these two peoples, and the turbulent and tragic history which has resulted.With its detailed and moving personal testimonies, Shipler's work captures the commonly missing human dimension behind the conflict. The first part of the book deftly summarises the historical and cultural background to their struggle, while the second explores the role of education and the media in sharpening...more
Nick
A truly engrossing book that serves as both a thorough primer of the conflict and a constant reminder that there are real, everyday people involved that are forever at the mercy of the whims of politics, military, and short-sighted leaders. Though it was written in the early 80s, history is obviously rhyming with itself at the moment; the similarities and parallels to 25-30 years ago are staggering and, ultimately, disheartening.
Gail
Even though I lost it and did not finish, I liked it a lot. Also, it is much more contemporary than the copyright date would suggest. Powerful insights and good writing. Love the personal and journalistic and historical and scholarly approach that melded into one book.
Jacob
Really fascinating book about the Arab-Israeli conflict. I think it did a pretty good job being objective and discussing both sides. Shipler focused more on the human stories than the political history, which was fine with me, although I would like to learn more about the history. The book was originally written in the 1980s and was revised slightly with more recent information in the early 2000s. Would be interesting to learn about how things are now, especially in light of Obama's recent speec...more
Izwan Z
This is the kind of book you read with an open mind. The kind of stuff that would contemplate changing a radical idealist to a complete realist. It certainly deserves the Pulitzer Prize it won, but suffers from the curse of time.

Many events have transpired recently but the issues remain generally the same.

Overall, the book is incredibly informative, explanatory, sad, and hopeful at the same time. The kind of book that ought to be passed from reader to reader for years to come.
Suzanne
An extremely well-written book about the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Although this book was written 20 years ago, and updated 10 years ago, most of the descriptions of the stereotypes, tension, and relationships between the two groups can still be used to describe today. I also felt that this book was extremely well-balanced in showing the positives and negatives of both groups, as well as being well-researched. This is an excellent example of good journalism.
Randall Decker
Deeply enlightening. The thing that struck me the most were the youth... both sides of the fence not really hating each other. But the Jew definitely has more than the Arab. It is a world of haves and have nots due to the biases of their elders. Reading this book gave me insights to the middle east I never knew. I found myself switching sides throughout the book only to realize there shouldn't be a side.
Jeff
Thorough, though slightly dated account of the struggles of Palestinians and Jews in Israel from the early 1900s to about 1993. I think the value in this book is in understanding the mentalities of these two peoples and the efforts to try and help the rising generation break the cycle.

I listened to the audio version of this book, and then requested it through PaperbackSwap.com.
CathyD
Pretty good book. Sets an example for the value of education as a means to survive anywhere in the world. It sets an example for survival and success no matter what situation one has to live in. There seemed to be an underlying message of the value of skills, that were transportable to anywhere in the world.
Jon
FANTASTIC and informative. I've never learned so much. This book gives great insight into the depth of the looming problems in Israel and the East in general. If you want to understand more about terrorism and motives behind the hatred of things Jew and Western, you should read this.
Andre
This book takes a very thoughtful approach on analyzing the situation by digging into the stereotypes that the two cultures often have for each other. I'm sure there are books out there that take a similar approach to other cultures as well.
Steven
Old but not totally irrelevant book on Palestine/Israel. Makes a lie of the frequent assumption that "things have always been that way" there. Ultimately hopeful. The hopefulness is probably a bit dated at this point, but still a useful book.
David Stutzman
One of my favorite books of all time. After reading this book I wanted to visit the Middle East and got me passionate about the issues of the Holy Land. It is well balanced, informative and reveals the personal level of Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Denise DeRocher
I so wish our statespeople would read this book and act upon it. Non-bipartisonship is the only way the US will ever help this tortured land - that and getting rid of Netanyahu (who just got re-elected).
Jeremy Borouchoff
Doesn't offer any clear answers, but is an excellent assessment of the juxtaposition of two cultures, their differences and their similarities, as well as their connections to the land.
Alice
Really good book to read to get a more clear understanding of the background of the Arab Israeli conflict, particularly deep seeded stereotypes and feelings on both sides.
Jamon
A good approach to explaining the Mid East Conflict, however Friedman from what I have read is much better. I have not read all of friedmans becasue I read this first
Tom
How complicated life is in the middle east. How difficult the future will be unless all parties learn the personal details of others and begin to share.
Curtiss
An intimate look at the dilemma of the Middle East; with personal interviews on both sides of the issue, or rather on several sides of the issue.
Jeremy
an unbelievably thorough history of the Israeli/Arab conflict. written over 20 years ago, but still relevant as ever.
Austin
Oct 21, 2008 Austin added it
Another book that I read shortly after 9/11 in my effort to understand what caused that tragic day.
Charles
I enjoyed the book. It provided a lot of specifics about the middle east conflict.
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David K. Shipler reported for The New York Times from 1966 to 1988 in New York, Saigon, Moscow, Jerusalem, and Washington. He is the author of four other books, including the best sellers Russia and The Working Poor, and Arab and Jew, which won the Pulitzer Prize. He has been a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and has...more
More about David K. Shipler...
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