I’ve been gushing about this one for the past couple weeks on various social media outlets because it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It’s really rare that I’m be sad when books end, the way I was when Jonathan Strange+Mr. Norrell ended, but this is one case where I was.
The book goes through, detail by detail, of the battle for Jerusalem during the war for Israel’s independence in 1948, from both the Israeli and the Arab perspective (both military and civilian), incorporating a freaking impressive range of historical evidence, interviews with hundreds of people (including the King of Jordan, homegirl Golda, Ben Gurion, and American, British, and French sources.) and mashes up each perspective in a way that’s not dry. Each person interviewed is painted as a character that keeps the pages turning fast and furiously.
Basically, every time I picked this book up, the world went away for me.
Here are some of the things I learned by reading it:
And, about the heads of the Arab states at the time:
And (I know it’s really bad quality and I’m sorry to your eyes especially since this passage was one of the ones that touched me the most):