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One Palestine, Complete explores the tumultuous period before the creation of the state of Israel. This was the time of the British Mandate, when Britain's promise to both Jews and Arabs that they would inherit the land, set in motion the conflict that haunts the region to this day. Drawing on untapped archival materials, Tom Segev reconstructs an era (1917 to 1948) of limi One Palestine, Complete explores the tumultuous period before the creation of the state of Israel. This was the time of the British Mandate, when Britain's promise to both Jews and Arabs that they would inherit the land, set in motion the conflict that haunts the region to this day. Drawing on untapped archival materials, Tom Segev reconstructs an era (1917 to 1948) of limitless possibilities and tragic missteps. He introduces an array unforgettable characters, tracks the steady advance of Jews and Arabs toward confrontation, and puts forth a radical new argument: that the British, far from being pro-Arab, consistently favored the Zionist position, out of the mistaken--and anti-Semitic--belief that Jews turned the wheels of history. Rich in historical detail, sensitive to all perspectives, One Palestine, Complete brilliantly depicts the decline of an empire, the birth of one nation, and the tragedy of another.


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One Palestine, Complete explores the tumultuous period before the creation of the state of Israel. This was the time of the British Mandate, when Britain's promise to both Jews and Arabs that they would inherit the land, set in motion the conflict that haunts the region to this day. Drawing on untapped archival materials, Tom Segev reconstructs an era (1917 to 1948) of limi One Palestine, Complete explores the tumultuous period before the creation of the state of Israel. This was the time of the British Mandate, when Britain's promise to both Jews and Arabs that they would inherit the land, set in motion the conflict that haunts the region to this day. Drawing on untapped archival materials, Tom Segev reconstructs an era (1917 to 1948) of limitless possibilities and tragic missteps. He introduces an array unforgettable characters, tracks the steady advance of Jews and Arabs toward confrontation, and puts forth a radical new argument: that the British, far from being pro-Arab, consistently favored the Zionist position, out of the mistaken--and anti-Semitic--belief that Jews turned the wheels of history. Rich in historical detail, sensitive to all perspectives, One Palestine, Complete brilliantly depicts the decline of an empire, the birth of one nation, and the tragedy of another.

30 review for One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate

  1. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    segev continues his career of iconoclasm within israeli historiography with this noted book covering the critical period of british rule. in a rhapsodic style the book slays a key boogey-man of much israeli scholarship on the mandate: the supposed opposition of the british to zionism and its project of erecting a state. instead he argues that though key british figures in government were often motivated by anti-semitic notions of jewish power in the world, this paradoxically led them to generall segev continues his career of iconoclasm within israeli historiography with this noted book covering the critical period of british rule. in a rhapsodic style the book slays a key boogey-man of much israeli scholarship on the mandate: the supposed opposition of the british to zionism and its project of erecting a state. instead he argues that though key british figures in government were often motivated by anti-semitic notions of jewish power in the world, this paradoxically led them to generally assist in the project of zionist state-building. while there should be no doubt the british served an irreplaceable role in helping create the conditions for the birth of israel, segev's narrative on this count is somewhat lacking. for instance, the key british interventions in local political economy which greatly damaged the majority arab population while giving advantage to young zionist economic ventures - are not well-treated in the book. likewise, although it is a lush account of the period, full of robust detail, often using diaries and personal papers to add real persons' experiences during the period, it gives relatively short shrift to producing a serious account of palestinan arab history during the mandate. there is one main arab character in the book - khalil al-sakakini - and while his writings have much to offer, he can hardly stand in for the arab majority. the book is also marred by several themes and tropes from dominant israeli sociology and discourse, which takes a dim if not hostile view of palestinian culture and history. thus, for instance, palestinians who revolt against the british and the zionist program to take over the territory are often labeled 'terrorists', demonstrating once again the limits of the israeli 'new historians'. the book's style will appeal to non-specialists, and it is highly readable on that account, but precisely this style and its narrative foci often make it somewhat less serious than its pretensions would have it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marks54

    This is a one volume history of the British Mandate by an Israeli journalist who was trained as an historian. It is a fine book, richly detailed and fun to read in parts. It is also a long book. What is most interesting about the book, however, is its perspective. The author makes use of new information to provide a story of the Mandate period from three different perspectives - the British, the Jew, and the Arabs. Within each of these perspectives there is extraordinary diversity and clashes of This is a one volume history of the British Mandate by an Israeli journalist who was trained as an historian. It is a fine book, richly detailed and fun to read in parts. It is also a long book. What is most interesting about the book, however, is its perspective. The author makes use of new information to provide a story of the Mandate period from three different perspectives - the British, the Jew, and the Arabs. Within each of these perspectives there is extraordinary diversity and clashes of subgroups. It is hard to keep track of the players without a scorecard, which is provided (at least a list of actors). What comes out of this ménage a Trois is a new view on the Mandate that spreads around praise and blame more evenly among the participants (not to mention additional external participants). The result challenges the view that Israel came into existence as the Zionists fought and triumphed against the British and the Arabs. Segev clearly documents that there was much more cooperation between Britain the the Jewish residents of Palestine than was claimed in prior histories. The book also challenges simplistic claims about the role of the Holocaust in the rise of Israel. It no doubt was an important factor, but Segev shows how there were initiatives for a Jewish State from the very beginnings of the Mandate and that Britain was tired of its role in Palestine by 1939, but got distracted by the onset of WW2. The book is filled with issues of determinism versus choice versus chance and whether the establishment of Israel and the expulsion of the Palestinians were necessary or whether a more cooperative solution was possible. In this sense, the book is the story of an idea. The title refers to the idea of a Palestine that included both Arabs and Jews on an equal basis. The stories in the book chronicle how this idea ultimately failed, leading to the birth of Israel. This involves regret over missed choices and roads not taken, especially how the conflict Israeli-Palestinian conflict has come to dominate relations in the region. I sympathize with the regret but have trouble seeing how development could have developed other than they dead. This conflict is part and parcel of the conflict between high principles and power politics that dominated the world after the end of the First World War. High principles did not work out well for Woodrow Wilson or for the British Empire and they certainly did not work out well here. Segev works to humanize the story by going into the lives and loves of a whole cast of characters, some of whose stories frame the entire Mandate period. I liked this aspect of the book but note how a narrative filled with the personal stories of the key actors will come across necessarily as messy and not supporting broad clear stories. In this sense, the style of the book contributes to its more revisionist message. I do appreciate the broadening of perspectives with the suggestions that the Palestinian Arabs may have a bone or two to pick with how everything turned out for the Mandate. If anything, even more of the Arab perspective would have helped, although what was provided was well done and worthwhile. The book is filled with fascinating trivia and levels of detail for those who appreciate it. For others, there is much the work through, even if you know how the story turned out.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Meirav Rath

    A wonderful read; educational, well written, interesting. If you want to learn how situations got to be what they are today, this book is a mighty good start since the Palestinian-Israeli conflict owes a lot of its existence to the British mandate in Palestine...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brett

    Okay, so I read about 30 pages, decided the author was thoroughly biased and boring and gave up reading it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jim Leffert

    Israeli journalist Tom Segev offers a 520-page history of the 31-year British Mandate in Palestine that is both panoramic and intimate. Perhaps his main thesis, stated on p. 490, is that “Once the Zionist Movement came to Palestine with the intention of creating an independent state with a Jewish majority, war (that is, between Jews and Arabs) was inevitable.” The early parts of the book, especially, read like watching people setting out on a journey that you know is going to lead to a train wre Israeli journalist Tom Segev offers a 520-page history of the 31-year British Mandate in Palestine that is both panoramic and intimate. Perhaps his main thesis, stated on p. 490, is that “Once the Zionist Movement came to Palestine with the intention of creating an independent state with a Jewish majority, war (that is, between Jews and Arabs) was inevitable.” The early parts of the book, especially, read like watching people setting out on a journey that you know is going to lead to a train wreck, as Segev shows that Palestinian nationalist aspirations began to emerge and coalesce as soon as significant Jewish settlement was underway. Segev describes how some Zionist leaders tried to deny, obscure, or minimize the reality of nationalist sentiments among Palestinian Arabs, while others, Ben Gurion, among them, were well aware of and openly acknowledged their extent. Segev’s method is to layer depiction of the larger developments with detailed accounts of individual people, famous and obscure, who participated in these historic events. So, for example, we follow the life of Khalil Sakakini, a Palestinian educator and nationalist from 1917, when he gave refuge to a Jewish insurance salesman and sometime poet named Alter Levine who was fleeing from the Turks, until 1947, when Sakakini had to flee from his beloved home in the Katamon section of Jerusalem as Jewish forces took parts of the city. Segev’s method works by bringing British, Arab, and Jewish individuals with colorful stories into sharp focus. One particular figure, who stands out in Segev’s account, is David Ben Gurion. We learn that in the face of terrorism directed against Jews (including the sickening massacre of Jews in Hebron), Ben Gurion, as leader of the mainstream Jewish governing body and movement, strongly resisted resorting to “tit for tat” acts of reprisal against innocent Palestinian, despite intense pressure from younger members of his movement who believed that it was necessary to “fight fire with fire” as the Irgun, led by Menachem Begin, eventually began doing. Instead, Ben Gurion tried to channel his followers’ ardor and energies into resisting the British by smuggling illegal Jewish immigrants from Europe to Palestine. Eventually, faced with the prospect of mass defections from his movement, Ben Gurion and his colleagues cooperated with the anti-terror terror campaign. We also learn that at one point, while Ben Gurion spent two weeks in Paris engaged in diplomatic activity, he spent a large part of his time in the company of another guest at the hotel, Ho Chi Minh. The Balfour Declaration pledged Britain’s commitment to the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine. Although Britain tried to strike a balance between Jews and Arabs, and certainly curtailed and limited its support for Jewish immigration and military activity at times, Segev details the many ways in which the British authorities and the Jewish Agency worked hand in hand and the British government provided support and a permissive environment for Jewish self-rule to develop. Segev maintains that although the Holocaust created worldwide sympathy for Jews, Israel would have become an independent Jewish State even if the Holocaust hadn't occurred, since by the time World War II began, the Jews in Palestine had already established a fully functioning, self-governed community. If you read this book, the next time you read about Qassam rockets being fired into Israel, you will know who al-Qassam was. These are just a few examples of the detailed and eye-opening material that Segev provides for us in this fine book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pete Sikora

    A fascinating read, told with acid compassion. Ok, so I stole that line from the Times' review on the book jacket. Sue me. No, actually, please don't sue me. Anyway, the times' review is a great one liner about the book. One Palestine, Complete offers a range: street level story-telling, mostly from primary sources, to opinion. Of course, the topic may be the most argued history in the world. But this seems like a real story. However, I don't think I agree with the thesis, which is that the pre- A fascinating read, told with acid compassion. Ok, so I stole that line from the Times' review on the book jacket. Sue me. No, actually, please don't sue me. Anyway, the times' review is a great one liner about the book. One Palestine, Complete offers a range: street level story-telling, mostly from primary sources, to opinion. Of course, the topic may be the most argued history in the world. But this seems like a real story. However, I don't think I agree with the thesis, which is that the pre-war brits anti-semitism, revealed as their belief that the jews were all-powerful, led them to curry favor with the zionists. That seems suspect, and too simplistic... but the book doesn't really carry it's thesis too heavily. Only the beginning really argues this idea. The rest of it is a nice history, told from a variety of all-too-human perspectives that reveal the composit. "Acid compassion" indeed. The book also forced me to remember that history is the sum of a lot of individual actors. Not an easy trick to pull off without boring the reader to tears with too much detail. Overall, a really great read, even if the thesis is weak. ps the title refers to the receipt handed over from one brit overlord to another upon transfer of power. It was a joke... such cheek those brits!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Saunders

    Tom Segev's One Palestine, Complete offers an engaging reconstruction of Britain's three-decade rule over the Palestine Mandate (modern Israel). Segev, an Israeli historian, provides a crisp narrative filled with engaging character sketches and vivid anecdotes: familiar figures (Lord Allenby, Lawrence of Arabia, Chaim Weitzman and David Ben-Gurion) brush shoulders with lesser-known individuals like George Antonius, Khalil al-Sakakini and Herbert Samuel to create a vivid portrait of a contentious Tom Segev's One Palestine, Complete offers an engaging reconstruction of Britain's three-decade rule over the Palestine Mandate (modern Israel). Segev, an Israeli historian, provides a crisp narrative filled with engaging character sketches and vivid anecdotes: familiar figures (Lord Allenby, Lawrence of Arabia, Chaim Weitzman and David Ben-Gurion) brush shoulders with lesser-known individuals like George Antonius, Khalil al-Sakakini and Herbert Samuel to create a vivid portrait of a contentious time and place. Segev follows other historians of Britain's Middle East adventure in depicting the conquest as ad hoc, the seizure of Jerusalem in particular achieved more for propaganda purposes than a conept of what came next. The result was 30 years of low-level civil war between Arab nationalists and Zionist Jews, each asserting nationhood and each feeling betrayed and oppressed by British promises, with Perfidious Albion haplessly trying to referee - a situation which grew untenable after the Second World War. A clear-eyed account of an historic tragedy that resonates to this day.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gaff

    Excellent history of the British Mandate in Palestine between the world wars but ending in 1948 before the nakba (the flight and/or expulsion of the Palestinian refugees) and the creation of the state of Israel (or Is-surreal as we know it in my house). This, written by a Jewish Israeli journalist, is also a history of the rise in influence of the Zionist movement from the late 19th century onwards, achieved partly by the small core of the movement's leadership by indulging the gullibility and la Excellent history of the British Mandate in Palestine between the world wars but ending in 1948 before the nakba (the flight and/or expulsion of the Palestinian refugees) and the creation of the state of Israel (or Is-surreal as we know it in my house). This, written by a Jewish Israeli journalist, is also a history of the rise in influence of the Zionist movement from the late 19th century onwards, achieved partly by the small core of the movement's leadership by indulging the gullibility and latent anti-semitism of key figures in the British government by playing on their beliefs that this obscure movement in fact represented the powerful and supposedly influential 'world Jewry' and should therefore be appeased. The book turns periodically to resume the story of this period from the perspective of a selection of individuals, a mix of central and sometimes peripheral figures, often using their contemporary diaries and letters. The book is not a polemic pushing a particular agenda (the title is not a provocative call for a unified and singular independent Palestine but in fact refers to the joke 'receipt' left to the British by the Turks as they cleared out), and it works hard to remain balanced, in particular charting the atrocities committed by leaders and ordinary people on both sides. But as the book progresses, it eventually becomes easy to detect the distaste Segev feels for the ruthless single-mindedness and methods with which the Zionist movement manufactured a mass movement from its marginal worldview and pursued and won its objectives.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This is quite a pleasant read about Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate. Its bias is that it tries not to have one--and at times one can argue that he perhaps bends over backwards. I read the book in Hebrew, so I cannot say what it is like in English. I would imagine there are numerous changes, since the Hebrew book was definitely written for an Israeli audience. I would have given it five stars--it really is very good and very thorough--but for the fact that in his desire to present the li This is quite a pleasant read about Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate. Its bias is that it tries not to have one--and at times one can argue that he perhaps bends over backwards. I read the book in Hebrew, so I cannot say what it is like in English. I would imagine there are numerous changes, since the Hebrew book was definitely written for an Israeli audience. I would have given it five stars--it really is very good and very thorough--but for the fact that in his desire to present the lives of people on the ground in Palestine, Segev often forgets to describe other events that to a great extent defined the fate of Palestine -- such as the Sykes-Picot Agreement; and, if I remember correctly, although he devotes much time to describing Chaim Weizmann's enormous influence on the British, I don't think he ever presents the date of Balfour Declaration. I would hope there are maps in the English edition. As an Israeli I didn't need any. If you want to know about Palestine under the Mandate, this book is definitely a must.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ian Chapman

    Not an easy read at first, perhaps translated a bit too closely from the original Hebrew. The Israeli author describes the three way relationship between British, Arabs and Jews in Mandate Palestine. The Jews are given the most positive reference! Even so, it seems quite new for an Israeli historian to acknowledge non-jewish continuities in geographical Palestine. Some of the anecdotes from the Mandate society show a formerly little known point of view, that of the town-dwelling middle-class Jew Not an easy read at first, perhaps translated a bit too closely from the original Hebrew. The Israeli author describes the three way relationship between British, Arabs and Jews in Mandate Palestine. The Jews are given the most positive reference! Even so, it seems quite new for an Israeli historian to acknowledge non-jewish continuities in geographical Palestine. Some of the anecdotes from the Mandate society show a formerly little known point of view, that of the town-dwelling middle-class Jews. I think Tom Segev misses something about the British Palestine Police, in that it was a posting, like Hong Kong. Overall unusual and excellent, but not a very easy read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erik D.

    Important topic, difficult presentation Segev attacks an important topic here, but two problems with his presentation - historical presentation can have an angle/direction, but his views here are clearly biased against Zionism and in support of the Arabs’ views of their role inthe land. This is not exactly a laid out sequence of events, as I was expecting, but rather a series of personal vignettes of statesmen and private citizens in Palestine at the time. His basic writing style is somewhat awkw Important topic, difficult presentation Segev attacks an important topic here, but two problems with his presentation - historical presentation can have an angle/direction, but his views here are clearly biased against Zionism and in support of the Arabs’ views of their role inthe land. This is not exactly a laid out sequence of events, as I was expecting, but rather a series of personal vignettes of statesmen and private citizens in Palestine at the time. His basic writing style is somewhat awkward without clear segues between paragraphs and subchapters, making the book often cumbersome to the reader.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marit

    This book was packed with historical details but the pace and chapter sections of the book do not proceed smoothly. It was hard to remember places, names, dates, etc. since it all felt jumbled together. Many times organizations and people were introduced as if the reader had some prior knowledge of the history. Segev does his best to portray all sides but usually most of the detail come from the Jewish history of that time. I did not mind reading this book and I do feel edified but I wouldn't re This book was packed with historical details but the pace and chapter sections of the book do not proceed smoothly. It was hard to remember places, names, dates, etc. since it all felt jumbled together. Many times organizations and people were introduced as if the reader had some prior knowledge of the history. Segev does his best to portray all sides but usually most of the detail come from the Jewish history of that time. I did not mind reading this book and I do feel edified but I wouldn't really recommend it to someone seeking a good historical perspective on this period and place.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bret McGuire

    Very strong history of Palestine between the end of the war and emergence of Israel. In addition to reporting the thoughts and actions of the political figures which governed the area at the time this account also makes strong use of diaries and other writings from average citizens living in Palestine. Segev also strikes a strong balance, giving a complete and well-rounded picture of both Arab and Jew. Reading this history (admittedly with the benefit of hindsight) one can see the decay of the d Very strong history of Palestine between the end of the war and emergence of Israel. In addition to reporting the thoughts and actions of the political figures which governed the area at the time this account also makes strong use of diaries and other writings from average citizens living in Palestine. Segev also strikes a strong balance, giving a complete and well-rounded picture of both Arab and Jew. Reading this history (admittedly with the benefit of hindsight) one can see the decay of the dream of two cultures peacefully co-existing into a morass of tension and violence.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    A superb account of the background to and implications of the British rule in Palestine 1917-1948. Completely unbiased in his appraisal, Segev doesn't shy away from either the Zionists own failings, the Arabs' misguided ineptitude, or the British accountability for the mess which is still obviously needing resolving in Israel-Palestine today. Very thorough and briliantly written. If you want a good understanding of how this lengthy conflict really began, this is the book to read. A superb account of the background to and implications of the British rule in Palestine 1917-1948. Completely unbiased in his appraisal, Segev doesn't shy away from either the Zionists own failings, the Arabs' misguided ineptitude, or the British accountability for the mess which is still obviously needing resolving in Israel-Palestine today. Very thorough and briliantly written. If you want a good understanding of how this lengthy conflict really began, this is the book to read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    Segev's book is still one of the better general histories on the Mandate. The book is especially good at offering vignettes detailing what life was like for the Arab, Jewish and British populations during the Mandate era. His characterization of the Mandate's end, however, is perhaps a bit too descriptive. Segev is a journalist originally so the reader should keep in mind that sometimes he is interested in telling a good story which is why he is prone to generalization. Segev's book is still one of the better general histories on the Mandate. The book is especially good at offering vignettes detailing what life was like for the Arab, Jewish and British populations during the Mandate era. His characterization of the Mandate's end, however, is perhaps a bit too descriptive. Segev is a journalist originally so the reader should keep in mind that sometimes he is interested in telling a good story which is why he is prone to generalization.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Shachter

    Incredibly informative and well researched book on the British Mandate in Palestine.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mohamed

    How it all started! A very good book describing Palestine under the British Mandate.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Adam Glantz

    Segev employs archival materials to make one of the main points advanced by the Israeli New Historians: The British were the abettors, not the opponents, of Zionism. The British only occupied Palestine because it was the territory of a wartime enemy, Turkey, and they only stayed to win the favor of international Jewry, which they assumed -- in an attitude religiously reverent and antisemitic at one and the same time -- was the dominant force in world affairs. At times, presiding administrators a Segev employs archival materials to make one of the main points advanced by the Israeli New Historians: The British were the abettors, not the opponents, of Zionism. The British only occupied Palestine because it was the territory of a wartime enemy, Turkey, and they only stayed to win the favor of international Jewry, which they assumed -- in an attitude religiously reverent and antisemitic at one and the same time -- was the dominant force in world affairs. At times, presiding administrators and distant ministers alike despaired of the impossibility of reconciling the dominance of a Jewish minority over an Arab majority, but this either didn't percolate into actual policy or was easily disarmed by Zionist persuasion. The Zionists only faltered, and some of their more activist members turned to terrorism, when the advent of Hitler cast doubt over the efficacy of international Jewry's power and room to maneuver. But the key exponents of Zionism collaborated with the British til the very end, and this collaboration immeasurably assisted them in creating the foundations of a state in otherwise unfavorable circumstances. Segev's use of diaries and journals allows him to illustrate key elements of the Mandate in ways that are intimate, unforced, and sometimes even hilariously funny. But his omniscient narrator's voice is there, too, perhaps shoving us too hard in a direction we might have already gone without it. His thesis is generally persuasive, but toward the end I felt he was trying to fit everything into its Procrustean bed. For example, it's hard to reconcile the Zionist resort to terrorism with a close collaboration with the British; since the Haganah, i.e., the hegemonic Zionist party's military organization, subverted Mandate policy alongside the more activist factions, it seems to represent a real crisis of relations. I also don't know how to mesh what I know of Ernest Bevin and Clement Atlee's spat with Harry Truman over the disposition of the Mandate with the almost relieved British relinquishment of it that I found in Segev's book. This is how I feel about the New Historians in general: Their revealing spotlight dispels some of the received knowledge as myth, but other parts of it tenaciously remain as fact.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Palevski

    A detailed account of the British mandate period of the region known as Palestine at the start of the book, and already becoming to be known as the state of Israel by the end. Well documented through historical archives and enhanced with colorful anecdotes, Segev’s book describes how British bureaucracy reluctantly engaged in the region, appearing to find little to no strategic benefit to the area, and eventually eagerly got out of the boondoggle. At the same time, Segev describes the multi-facete A detailed account of the British mandate period of the region known as Palestine at the start of the book, and already becoming to be known as the state of Israel by the end. Well documented through historical archives and enhanced with colorful anecdotes, Segev’s book describes how British bureaucracy reluctantly engaged in the region, appearing to find little to no strategic benefit to the area, and eventually eagerly got out of the boondoggle. At the same time, Segev describes the multi-faceted Zionist movement and its influence upon the British government, as well as in the region, to eventually establish a far more organized Jewish movement in the area. The Hebrew nation was ultimately able to repel the Arab nationalist forces in Palestine in the midst of the ‘free for all’ which emerged when the British colonial rule pulled out.

  20. 5 out of 5

    N N

    I learned so much! I thought the first half (part I) was especially engaging while the second half (parts II and III) was somewhat less interesting and in-depth. Mr. Segev masterfully explains the original sin of the Balfour Declaration and the Brits’ uncoordinated and incompetent approach to governing Palestine, Chaim Weizmann’s Zionist politicking and key figures and structures of the early Zionist movement (Jabotinsky, Kisch, kibbutzim, immigration policy), and the Arabs’ response in this bro I learned so much! I thought the first half (part I) was especially engaging while the second half (parts II and III) was somewhat less interesting and in-depth. Mr. Segev masterfully explains the original sin of the Balfour Declaration and the Brits’ uncoordinated and incompetent approach to governing Palestine, Chaim Weizmann’s Zionist politicking and key figures and structures of the early Zionist movement (Jabotinsky, Kisch, kibbutzim, immigration policy), and the Arabs’ response in this broader context. While at times the lengthiness felt like a bit of a slog, I am so glad I read this, it felt like essential education.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Irredeema Bill

    The Founding of Israel The author covers the founding of Israel in extensive fashion. He covers the Arab, Jewish and British perspective with quotes from each group’s sources. This should be considered one of the definitive books on the history of the origins of the Arab/Jewish conflict.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Leora

    A comprehensive, intellectually rigorous, and even-handed re-telling of a contentious era in Middle Eastern history. Segev has a tendency towards making overly dramatic or sweeping statements at times, but overall he does a great job of pairing exactly detailed events with the stories of individuals who lived through the events - providing a richly complex narrative of a richly complex history.

  23. 4 out of 5

    sol silberstein

    One Palestine I enjoyed the intimate personal stories.Content was beautifully presented.I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding the birth of modern Israel. Thank you for writing this book

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mattieu Rogers

    Complicated This story pulls no punches, and refuses to give you a simple understanding of the situation. There are too many east opinions regarding Israel-Palestine, this book is wonderful!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Hopkins

    Must have read bits of it whilst studying Arabic at Edinburgh.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Adam Hummel

    Long but epic. Great read if you're into the history of Israel/British Mandatory Palestine. Long but epic. Great read if you're into the history of Israel/British Mandatory Palestine.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marina

    Must-read for understanding the history of Palestine and its ongoing problem.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kieran

    Fantastic, eye-opening read

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marco

    Segev does it again!!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joan Lieberman

    This is the best book to read if you want to fully understand the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Jared Kushner should be required to read it aloud to his father-in-law.

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