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An Introduction

Barry Rubin

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This comprehensive book provides a well-rounded introduction to Israel—a definitive account of the nation's past, its often controversial present, and much more. Written by a leading historian of the Middle East, Israel is organized around six major themes: land and people, history, society, politics, economics, and culture. The only available volume to offer such a complete account, this book is written for general readers and students who may have little background knowledge of this nation or its rich culture.

Based on research by scholars with extensive firsthand knowledge of Israel, this book offers accessible, clearly explained material, enhanced with a generous selection of images, maps, charts, tables, graphs, and sidebars. This book provides readers with a solid foundation of knowledge about Israel and provides useful reference lists by topic for those inspired to read further.

Barry Rubin is professor and director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel. He is also editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs and author of numerous books on the Middle East.

“There have been many hundreds of books for and against Israel but no volume presenting the essential information about its domestic politics, its society, as well as its cultural life and its economy. This gap has now been filled.”—Walter Laqueur, author of A History of Zionism

"A sound, basic survey without a rigid agenda, useful for students, tourists and those planning aliyah."—Kirkus Reviews

"[An] essential resource for readers interested in learning the truth about the Zionist project in the 20th and 21st centuries."—Sol Stern, Commentary

“Offering in-depth perspectives with encyclopedic breadth on the makeup of the Jewish state, focusing only briefly on Israel's struggle for self-preservation. The section "History" provides a masterful summary of Israel's past from its socialist beginnings before independence to the modern struggles with the Iranian regime. . . .”—Publishers Weekly

“A well-written portrait of a vibrant nation at the center of turmoil in the region.”—Jay Freeman, Booklist

"It is indeed just a starting point, but Israel: An Introduction, if disseminated among our universities to the extent it deserves, will at least allow students of the Middle East and of Jewish history to start off on the right foot. A glimpse into the real Israel may do more for the future of U.S.-Israeli relations than any amount of rhetoric ever could."—Daniel Perez, Jewish Voice New York

"Written in an easily accessible format for the layman, that has covered Israel in all of its facets… [Israel: An Introduction] stands as a great accomplishment… The comprehensive look Rubin takes at everything from the political to the social, religious and cultural (the changing role of women in literature comes to mind) stands out as introducing Israel anew to even those who thought they understood the country." Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post
ISBN: 9780300162301
Publication Date: February 21, 2012
352 pages, 7 x 10
86 b/w illus.