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Israel (Modern World Nations) download ebook

by Charles F. Gritzner,Donald J. Zeigler

Israel (Modern World Nations) download ebook
Charles F. Gritzner,Donald J. Zeigler
Chelsea House Pub (December 1, 2002)
1925 kb
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Middle East

assure readers plenty of material suitable for in-depth reports, yet a lively enough style to lend to browsing. All are lasting, ongoing recommendations for librarians seeking to build long-term, quality collections.

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This book, part of the Modern World Nations series. Chapters cover geography, history, people and culture, government and politics, the economy, and possibilities for the future. The text is dense and presented in very long sentences and paragraphs, so even though the book is small and might appeal to younger readers, the narrative will probably work best for the older end of the age range.

assure readers plenty of material suitable for in-depth reports, yet a lively enough style to lend to browsing.

Modern World Nations.

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Donald F. Zeigler is the author of Japan. Discover new books on Goodreads. See if your friends have read any of Donald F. Zeigler's books. Donald F. Zeigler’s Followers. None yet. Zeigler. Zeigler’s books.

Israel (Modern World Nations). by Stanley D. Brunn, Maureen Hays-Mitchell, Donald J. ISBN 9780791092101 (978-0-791210-1) Chelsea House Publications, 2006.

Discusses the geography, history, people, govenrment, and future of Israel.
  • Vizuru
In preparation for an upcoming trip to Israel, I snagged Donald Zeigler's "Israel," a primer in a series called Modern World Nations intended for middle school students. And though the book was understandably simplistic and dry, this was to be expected for a textbook for teens. Nonetheless, it was still quite helpful to me, an admitted ignoramus about Middle Eastern politics and history who needed some help understanding some basic facts before I find myself walking around that part of the world.

Of particular value in this book was its rather comprehensive approach. Though only scratching the surface, the author managed to cover a lot of ground, discussing the history and present status of religion, governance, geography, and economics in the fascinating nation of modern Israel. And to his credit, I thought he did a remarkable job of remaining impartial and even-handed in his descriptions of the obvious tensions that exist between various religious and cultural communities that co-exist very contentiously in the Holy Land. Of course, another reviewer thought otherwise, and any readers who have a firm commitment that one of the warring parties is the rightful owner of the land of Israel and should have priority and authority over the other will surely be disappointed that the author does not align with their allegiance. But I commend Zeigler for dispassionately analyzing the reality of Middle East tensions without bowing to the twin dangers of either ignoring the situation altogether or making the book a stump-speech for one particular side. I found his approach to be tempered and responsible.

Of course, there is much more that could have been included. I would have loved some more serious and thorough engagement with the religious undertones of the historical and present-day tensions. I think some more maps would have been helpful. And some further discussion of the more significant historical and sacred sites throughout Israel would have been interesting. But I need to remember that I'm looking at the book as a prospective tourist, so my interests certainly vary from a middle school student. Ultimately, I think that this book is a helpful guide for understanding what and who the nation of Israel is in the early part of the 21st-century, and I'm happy to recommend it to other folks like myself who are starting at ground zero and want to build a basic foundation of understanding.
  • Soustil
This book attempts to describe the geography, cultural milieu, and history of modern Israel. The description of the geography and the problems modern Israelis encountered and solved in living in such a harsh environment is detailed and accurate. The author points out that Israel is a land that welcomes many cultures and that it has been enriched by its diversity. The author traces Israel's history back to Abraham, making the common error of confusing Biblical accounts of the Jewish people with historical documentation of the founding of Israel. The text does, however, point out that the three major religions that hold Israel as a sacred land consider Abraham the progenitor of their common belief in monotheism. Unfortunately, the author reduces two thousand years of history to two pages in this book. He then concentrates on the more recent violent struggles between Israel and Palestine. The book even includes mention of the kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers and the subsequent Israeli incursion into Lebanon this past summer. Although not perfect, this is one of the better books recently published about Israel. It struggles to include positive information about the many Israeli modern scientific innovations and makes a point of relating several programs Israel has developed to work with all its Middle Eastern neighbors to solve common ecological problems.

The book contains a useful appendix called "Facts at a Glance." It also has an index, bibliography, and additional sources of interest, including acceptable web sites. This book should prove useful to students doing research on Israel and the Middle East.

For ages 12 and up.

Reviewed by Susan Dubin
  • Kajikus
First of all, this book should not have been labeled for children aged 4 to 8. Clearly, the publishers have very little notion of what children of that age bracket can read. This book is more appropriate for children aged 8 to 12, which is a far different reading level.

Beyond that, the book is not really about Israel, but about Israel's non-Jewish minorities, who make up less than a quarter of Israel's population. That would be fine, were not every page filled with arguments pointedly indicating why the author feels that Israel should not be a Jewish state.

For the most part, the facts (such as there are) are taken out of their regional context, failing to note that while every Arab state surrounding Israel also have non-Muslim minorities, they are all governed by variations on Islamic law, and consider themselves Islamic theocracies.

Furthermore the book accepts the ridiculous notion that Palestinians are descended from the vanished people called Philistines. It's true that Arabs today calling themselves Palestinians take their name from the Philistines, but those ancient people disappeared from the land 3,000 years ago, and today's Arab residents are either descendants of the various Muslim conquerors of Israel (beginning with the Arab conquest in 636) or more recent immigrants (within the last 150 to 200 years).

It's fine to have a book about Israel's minorities. Such volumes are very much in demand, and needed. But the title of this book is a misnomer. It should more accurately have been titled Israel's Minorities. (It doesn't even include statistics as to the population of each group.) As it is, the book reads like an anti-Israel tract for children.

--Alyssa A. Lappen