Israel: Is It Good for the Jews?

Israel: Is It Good for the Jews? S. & S. Sept. 2014. 336p. bibliog. ISBN 9781416575689. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781416584278. HIST
OrangeReviewStarWashington Post columnist Cohen (A Heartbeat Away) should be commended for making a notable contribution to the burgeoning genre of books about Israel. The author offers a compelling account of the remarkable rebirth of the historic Jewish homeland against the backdrop of pogroms, the Holocaust, and Arab opposition. A superb literary stylist, he deftly interweaves his family history into the maelstrom of 20th-century Jewish history. He has done his homework; selectively mining several important works by Jewish historians and incorporating their scholarship in his lucid and engaging prose. Cohen is an unabashed contrarian and he presumably relishes giving critics ample opportunities to become annoyed or even angry at his passionate, multifaceted opinions. Yet his arguments for Israel's existence are both deeply personal and extremely informative, allowing readers to draw their own conclusions.
VERDICT A thoughtful study recommended for both general and academic readers of history.
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