Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In the Land of Israel” as Want to Read:
In the Land of Israel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

In the Land of Israel

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  503 ratings  ·  34 reviews
“An exemplary instance of a writer using his craft to come to grips with what is happening politically and to illuminate certain aspects of Israeli society that have generally been concealed by polemical formulas.” —The New York Times

Notebook in hand, Amos Oz traveled throughout Israel and the West Bank in the early 1980s to talk with workers, soldiers, religious zealots,—The
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 31st 1993 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1982)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about In the Land of Israel, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about In the Land of Israel

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  503 ratings  ·  34 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of In the Land of Israel
Jul 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The book is composed of a series of interviews Oz has conducted with Israelis from different walks of life. All of them are insightfully presented and illuminating of certain aspects of Israel's political and social turmoil; a few of them are frightening to read for the stark and brutal world view the interviewees hold -- and I do mean frightening.

Another thing that was really impressive about this book was that the author did not make any attempt to explain Israel's complicated political scene
Jan 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
I was by no means excited about having to read this for a class in college, but i found it to be a phenomenal, page-turning piece of non-fiction. Though it is dated (over 25 years old now!) it still has a lot to offer readers. More than any textbook, Oz describes the people and places of Israel so vividly you begin to feel as if you are visiting yourself. It was undeniably helpful to me, an American Christian who never really studied Israel, in understanding the complex world of Israeli politics ...more
Nov 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
In this break from fiction, Oz travels Israel and the occupied territories allowing the people he encounters to talk about their feelings on "the situation." Oz hardly speaks at all and lets his interviewees rant and rave as much as the please and its refreshing because we are hearing the opinions from all over the socio-political spectrum here. The setting is 1982, so while those speaking are still raw from the first war with Lebanon.
Mar 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-east, history
This book is full of Story, some parts more challenging to read than others, particularly because of the intermingled Israeli and Palestinian political and historical references that I'm beginning to grasp. I know I'll re-read it someday, both to savor my favorite sections -- Oz in a cafe in Ramallah speaking with two young Arab men while a third older man sits quietly until the end, with writers for an Arab newspaper in East Jerusalem, and bearing witness to the story of an old pioneer who grew ...more
Jun 26, 2007 rated it liked it
A good read if, like me, you're fascinated by listening to the polemics of the Arab-Israeli conflict (ie: the New York Times jocks it). Otherwise, nothing amazing - just an extremely skilled journalist trotting around Israel interviewing people about their beliefs. I could have lived with a bit more editorializing, because presumably it's just the author paraphrasing discussion, and Amos Oz is my boy... my dovish Jew boy... uh... yeah this book is pretty good.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most insightful books I ever read. It really gets into the psyche of Israelis and Palestinians without an objective. These interviews by Amos Oz from 1982 are as relevant today as they every were. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has an interest in really understanding the Jewish and Arab psyche in relation to the middle east.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oz is an outstanding writer, whether he is writing literature, memoir or journalistic essays, he manages to portray characters and events in all of their multilayered levels of complexity. In this book, he examines Israeli and Palestinian society during the 1980s at the height of the war in Lebanon.

In this journalistic venture, Oz travels around Israel and interviews Israelis and Palestinians from all walks of life and political persuasions. In the first five chapters, he provides ba
Willy C
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book. Nicely written even through the translation and a fascinating walk through the many factions that make up Israel in the '80's. He takes the reader through the experiences of the second and first generation Sephardic and Mizrachi Jews and their resentment of Ashkenazi domination of the Israeli political scene. He explores the Settler movement, the peaceniks who hate them, and the Israeli Arabs and Palestinian Arabs who advocate war, peace, and everything in between. The book is re ...more
Jim Leffert
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book from 1983 presents a series of interviews and discussions that Oz conducted with people with various points of view, including Jews, Palestinian Arabs, and even a Christian cleric, regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the future of the State of Israel.

Other excellent books, such as My Promised Land by Arie Shavit (see also Like Dreamers by Yossi Klein-Halevi) provide a more up-to-date perspective on these questions. Oz’s book is nonetheless worth reading for three reasons: 1
Ami Kopstein
What Oz heard at different corners of Israel in 1982

This book is a collection of streams of consciousness that the author listened to and reconstructed with his own commentaries and deliberation and published in the weekend editions of Davar the daily paper that was the mouthpiece of the original party of Ben Gurion.
In of themselves these independent windows into the existence and views of Israelis from different walks of life is well written, interesting and very educational. Clearly
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]A very interesting account of attitudes in Israel in the winter of 1982, just after the first invasion of Lebanon; the leftish author mainly reports on right-wing voters who disagree with him, though he has a couple of short chapters with Palestinians in Ramallah and Jerusalem. I must say that my main reaction, having read this en route from Switzerland to Belgium after giving a conference presentation on the Balkans and the Caucasus, is that actually the Israel / Palestine conflict is a lot less ...more
Neil Jacobson
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book back in 1985 (in Hebrew, actually) and I recently re-read it. In late 1982, the author visited and interviewed Israelis of various backgrounds (Arabs, Jews, new immigrants, old immigrants, civilian, military, religious, secular) and had them share their thoughts. He did so without judgement but he probed and clarified to ensure that their ideas were clearly enunciated. What is most interesting and distressing is that despite the 30 year interval, the situation, politics, positio ...more
Marjorie Towers
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reminded me of Steinbeck's Travels with Charlie. The author travels to different cities in Israel and interviews (or in some cases just overhears) the people living there. And Oz is just as good a writer. Excellent insight into the Israeli-Arab conflict. i read this as assigned reading for an upcoming trip to Israel. It definitely was worth the read and helped me to understand the situation in a way I never have before.
Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Hegel said 'The march of God in the world, that is what the state is.' In the Land of Israel is an exploration of a state created self-consciously, with the aim of being the march of God in the world. Amos Oz drifts and wanders to/through different communities, institutions and neighbourhoods, finding anger and fear and prejudice, and also deep felt conviction and humanity.
Dillon Tatum
Excellent book, written around the time of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982...
Oz is a journalist who travels throughout the West Bank talking to Israeli settlers about life, Zionism, the Arabs, and War.
It demonstrates just how divided the Israeli's themselves are, and reminds us that no nation is truly cohesive, and that the "Israeli View" is non-existent in those terms.
Aug 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
If you are looking to learn more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this book, along with I Saw Ramallah is a great start. This book takes you through the Israeli's perspective on the situation and how people's opinions differ in why this is a problem and what should be done. A must-read to understand these cultural and political differences.
Jeffrey Cohan
Jan 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who cares about Israel or Judaism
Shelves: judaism, israel
Amoz Oz wrote "In the Land of Israel" 25 years ago, but 90 percent of his observations and the observations of his interviewees are still highly relevant today.

Even if only 50 percent were relevant, this book would still be an important read for anyone who cares about Israel and/or Judaism.
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for years, and I finally read it in preparation for a trip to Israel. It presents portraits of Israelis with wildly varying points of view--from settlers to kibbutzniks, from Arab intellectuals to French priests. What an eye-opener!
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Seriously one of the best books I've ever read. Mr. Oz paints a fascinating picture of the most extreme points of view present in Israeli society and along the way, makes some excellent points about nation building, what it means to be Jewish and the responsibility that both entail.
Jan 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Oz travels through Israel interviewing Israelis and Palistineans. Good introduction to the complex environment. Easy read.
Oct 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
fantastic insight into what people are thinking about and how they view themselves and the other they live with.
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You learn a lot about Israel and the region
Michael Lewyn
May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well-written and fun to read, but dated. Every Arab in the book is a peace-loving secularist; this perspective may have seemed realistic in 1982 but obviously doesn't fit 21st-century reality.
Catherine Schneider
May 15, 2008 marked it as to-read
Daniel Sokatch suggested this book.
Jan 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
People living in Israel interviewed by Oz about the state of Israel. Enlightening.
Rivka Cohen
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"For some time I have been hearing something like this from Western Intellectuals: Well, the Palestinians, they have suffered a lot, they've been oppressed and humiliated, they are a part of the Third world after all so it's only natural for them to become a bit violent" what else do you expect? The Jews, on the other hand, they've suffered so much, they've been oppressed and discriminated against, how on earth can they, having experienced all this, behave violently? Now this, I believe, is givi ...more
Christina Welbourne
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book gave me a great perspective of the political landscape in Israel in the 1980s. Oz's interviews were in-depth and revealing, peeling back layer after layer of life amongst the turmoil that was the state of Israel. One thing that shined through, despite the political upheaval and differing viewpoints all vying for attention, was the Israeli's common goal of flourishing in their land, despite the cost. Great read!
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant writer with important things to say. These essays are from the 1980s but still feel relevant.
Mateusz Janiszewski
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Absorbing but not actual anymore.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Different points of view. Written more than 30 years ago but this makes it even more interesting to see what has changed in between. The issue is still not solved.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Yellow Wind
  • City of Oranges: An Intimate History of Arabs and Jews in Jaffa
  • The Blue Mountain
  • The Other Side of Israel: My Journey Across the Jewish/Arab Divide
  • The Israel-Arab Reader: A Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict
  • The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust
  • A Journey to the End of the Millennium
  • The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977
  • מפריח היונים
  • The 188th Crybaby Brigade: A Skinny Jewish Kid from Chicago Fights Hezbollah
  • How Israel Lost: The Four Questions
  • Homesick
  • A Seat at the Table: A Novel of Forbidden Choices
  • The Israelis: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land
  • Alexandrian Summer
  • Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land Under Siege
  • Husband and Wife
  • Only Yesterday
See similar books…
Amos Oz (Hebrew: עמוס עוז; born Amos Klausner) was an Israeli writer, novelist, journalist and intellectual. He was also a professor of literature at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba. He was regarded as Israel's most famous living author.

Oz's work has been published in 42 languages in 43 countries, and has received many honours and awards, among them the Legion of Honour of France, t