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Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  301 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
"Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict" brings the multi-faceted story of the struggle in the Middle East to life for readers. Smith places the conflict in historical and political perspective, facilitating readers' understanding of how this complex situation has evolved over time. By examining its underlying causes, individual and group motives, and the roles that count ...more
Paperback, Sixth Edition, 598 pages
Published December 1st 2006 by Bedford Books (first published 1988)
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Anton Himmelstrand
Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict constitutes a comprehensive and detailed account of the events preceding and following from the formation of the state of Israel and the intercommunal tensions that define these events.

Overall, Charles D. Smith's style is dry and to to-the-point, analyzing the flow of history one set of years at a time. As a history book, this is excellent and proper, but conversely, it lacks much in the way of engaging narrative or underlying thesis. It is informative, bu
AbdulRahman AlHamali
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Palestine, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Dr. Charles D. Smith is the best reference for anyone who desires to explore and understand the details of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The book starts with a quick chapter that summarizes the story of Palestine from the days of the ancient Jewish Kingdoms, until the 19th century. The book then moves to explaining in great detail the story of the Jewish people, the Palestinian people and Palestine from the 19th century until 2006. More recent editions of
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well written history of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Smith does not takes sides, he presents the information like a history book should. The story is full of intrigue, betrayal, incompetence, genius, and sacrifice, mixed with luck (good and bad) misjudgment. Some of the author's predictions and possibilities have been greatly effected by the unforseen fall of the Soviet Union just a few years after the book was published. Worth the time, check it out.
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, politics
Smith tends to get labeled as "slightly biased" towards Palestinians but I don't see it. The Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflict is an extremely sensitive one and generally it's exceedingly difficult to find a critical work that covers the material. However, Smith does an exceptional job that I believe is second only to Bunton and Cleveland's historical work on the Middle East.

This text covers all sides (Arab States, pre-Israel Zionists, Israeli, Palestinians, and even all the relevant great/i
Dec 13, 2007 rated it it was ok
I'm Jewish. I try not to let that color my opinions on the Palestine issue but occasionally I fear it does. This book tested that as few others have. Smith is equally slanted to the Palestinian plight, which I don't consider myself blind to but anytime I feel history being tampered with I take exception. His accounting of the facts in this text are methodical, he leaves few stones unturned in charting the birth of a nation and the movements, maneuverings and back door discussions that made it ha ...more
Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
It was great to finally finish this book that I have been "currently reading" for 8 months now. This book was a great reminder of why it's so important to study history. It is an extremely enlightening book on an intractable issue that is wrought with emotions. It was recommended to me by a Williams Professor as a book that provides the facts as opposed to an agenda for one side as bestsellers often do. The only reason I give this one 4 stars versus 5 is that it candidly is a textbook that you w ...more
Jun 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: academics, history
This was a very solid chronological history of Palestine which, in my opinion, covered the historical developments in an unbiased manner. The book did not favor Israel, like so many text books and television programs do, and also did not shrink from covering the category of international Zionist expansion. The strongest element contained in this book was the excerpts of original historical documents concerning Palestine and the creation of Israel. Until reading this book, I did not have accurate ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How this book treat the history of Israel/Palestine question is analysed through a PhD thesis that has been conducted under professor Ilan Pappe’s supervision in the European centre for Palestine Studies (ECPS). According to the results of the thesis, this book is the first most adopted textbook in the area of Israel/Palestine history in western universities.
This academic investigation expose how the report of the question’s history in this book is undermined by a pro-Israeli bias or resist such
Reading update ... … Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict / Charles D. Smith … 15 April. 2017
9th ed.
ISBN: 9781319028053

I own the 7th and 8th editions of this book. My local library kindly purchased the 9th edition following my request.

Again I can only say, this book is essential but depressing reading. The politics of Israel and Palestine have such a massive bearing on the lack of peace in the world yet what we read in the mainstream media is so partial: partial in that it is so biased toward
Jun 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-owned
I started reading this book, because I had to translate it. Mr. Smith does an excellent job on giving the whole insight to the Palestine-Israel conflict with this book. It starts from the very beginning, from the BC, and comes to the present day with excellent details. The book also supports its ideas with real factual documents and Mr. Smith is not taking a side on the conflict and he is mostly objective. A very good book if you want to learn about the Palestine-Israel conflict and also about t ...more
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fine, detailed history, although the 'documents' with which it claims to be accompanied are sometimes a bit thin. Like most of these histories of 20th century Palestine, there's probably an inbuilt prejudice against Zionist Jews as interlopers, although the devious practices and political machinations of various Arab pretenders to the territor are fairly comprehensively enumerated. A thorough and worthwhile contribution to Western literature of the Middle East.
Sep 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: palestine
This is incredibly in depth. You walk away having learned a great deal, but you still feel a need to research some of these questions even more in depth. This book is packed with information so approach it when you actually have some time; however, this book is something that all people that have an interest in US imperialism should read. The author doesn't really adopt that framework which proves interesting when they attempt to compare how different US presidents dealt with the situation.
Brent McCulley
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Smith does an excellent job outlining the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict from briefly surveying it's ancient roots, to jumping ahead to the modern state of Israel, and weighing each move meticulously, as he records the chronological flow from from the 20th century hitherto. With graphs, charts, and primary source documents, this books is an excellent read for the historian to the Christian pastor.
Brent McCulley (10/24/13)
This is a nice, concise history of the conflict that contains accessible documents that are relevant to the previous section. It is fairly Palestinian-leaning, but still provides a great overview in tandem with Benny Morris.
Jan 21, 2015 rated it liked it
A very good introduction. However at times Smith seems to be biased towards Israel and the United States. Something he can be critical, but most of the times he oversees the part that the Palestians played. Besides the letters were too tiny and the pages were a bit funky, but that has obviously nothing to do with the content of the book.
Rebecca Graf
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From an academic standpoint this book is great. It has loads of primary sources to help the reader understand the conflicts and the history of Palestine. If you are looking for a pleasure read, avoid it. It is dry, but it an academic book and is excellent in that role.
Apr 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most objective looks at the Arab-Israeli conflict. The inclusion of documents is helpful and eye-opening. The best way to get a full understanding of this conflict is to read multiple accounts from both sides- this one is a good start.
Thanks to a friend who let me borrow this book, I feel like I can finally have an educated conversation about this and an opinion. I only gave it a three because it was a text book and it was a bit more bias than ideal.
Dr. A.
Oct 07, 2010 rated it liked it
In the end this turned out to be a very good survey of the issues in the Middle East. I'm not certain I would recommend it as the *best* way to get a handle on the disputes, but good for the student of history.
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Clear, detailed, compelling and supported by great primary source materials and well placed maps. A sourcebook I'll return to.
Nov 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Clear, comprehensive, and thorough. This is my go-to reference for the history of the region and conflict.
G Barahona
Dec 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Smith includes primary resource citations and copies in this monograph.
Jun 24, 2007 rated it really liked it

This is the best, most balanced, history of this conflict I've come across.
Apr 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Tough sledding
Marina Lindland
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the writing can get a little dry sometimes, the book is well researched and extremely intriguing. Recommend to any history buffs or anyone wanting to learn about the conflict in the region.
Jan 10, 2009 rated it liked it
palestinian leaning. is there really any objective history of the whole thing? i haven't found one
Dec 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: palestine, history
A thoughtful book, with a long historical view and an international scope. A good primer.
very detailled
Dec 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people that think they understand the conflict but really don't
Shelves: for-school
good overview of the conflict, but he jumps all over the place.
Dillon Tatum
Jul 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a "text book style" book, but I definately recommend it for anybody that wants to learn how the Arab-Israeli conflict started, and how it evolved.

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