Understanding Israel by Sol Scharfstein
Describes the people, history, government, religion, archaeology, culture, and economy of Israel, and looks at its role in the politics, power plays, and wars of the Middle East.
Paperback – May 1, 1994
This glossy, oversized volume provides a highly pictorial overview of the modern state from its beginnings in Palestine up to the present. Scharfstein describes the land and peoples of Israel, its history, government, culture, economy, archaeology, and religion. The country's role in the politics, powerplays, and wars of the Middle East are also summarised. The author explains why, after so many years of negotiations, the Arab countries are now willing to sign peace agreements. The writing is straightforward with brief declarative sentences and from one to two pages devoted to a topic. Maps, diagrams, and full-color and black-and-white photos and reproductions appear throughout. This publisher formerly published Amos Elon's Understanding Israel (1976), and Scharfstein's book appears to be an adaptation and update of it. David Bamberger's A Young Person's History of Israel (1985; both Behrman) is for slightly older audiences. It is written in a flowing narrative that discusses, rather than outlines, the topics and editorializes more than this book, which strives to be objective.-
Marcia Posner, Federation of New York and the Jewish Book Council, New York City
From School Library Journal