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Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle Eastby Michael Oren
Synopses & Reviews
A gripping account of one of the pivotal events in modern Middle Eastern history — on the 35th anniversary of the war
In Israel and the West it is called the Six Day War. In the Arab world, it is known as the June War, or simply as "the Setback." Never has a conflict so short, unforeseen and largely unwanted by both sides so transformed the world. The Yom Kippur War, the war in Lebanon, the Camp David accords, the controversy over Jerusalem and Jewish settlements in West Bank, the intifada and the rise of Palestinian terror: all are part of the outcome of those six days of intense Arab-Israeli fighting in the summer of 1967.
Michael B. Oren's Six Days of War is the most comprehensive history ever published of this dramatic and pivotal event, the first to explore it both as a military struggle and as a critical episode in the global Cold War. Oren spotlights all the participants — Arab, Israeli, Soviet, and American — telling the story of how the war broke out and of the shocking ways it unfolded.
Drawing on thousands of top-secret documents, on rare papers in Russian and Arabic, and on exclusive personal interviews, Six Days of War recreates the regional and international context which, by the late 1960s, virtually assured an Arab-Israeli conflagration. Also examined are the domestic crises in each of the battling states, and the extraordinary personalities — Moshe Dayan and Gamal Abdul Nasser, Hafez al-Assad and Yitzhak Rabin, Lyndon Johnson and Alexei Kosygin —that precipitated this earthshaking clash.
"This is a masterly book....With a remarkably assured style, Oren elucidates nearly every aspect of the conflict....Unless and until Egypt, Syria, and Jordan open their archives, Oren's will remain the authoritative chronicle of the war. His achievement as a writer and a historian is awesome." Benjamin Schwarz, Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic review)
"Michael B. Oren, in his new history of the war, tells the story in gripping detail. He has done an immense amount of research in many sources, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, and English, and although his narrative is keyed to the Israeli perspective, this produces no significant distortion. The Egyptian and Jordanian viewpoints are acknowledged, and Israel's responsibility for pre-war misunderstandings and wartime errors (notably the bombing of the American ship Liberty) is given reasonable prominence. One particular virtue of Oren's book is that it pays full attention to the international dimension of the conflict, especially the concerns and the actions of the two superpowers." Tony Judt, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)
"Michael Oren has written what is surely the definitive history of the Six Day War: Of course he has examined easily accessible archives but he has also penetrated the files and memories of those who normally impede research in order to make getting at the truth extremely difficult. His narrative is precise but written with great literary flair. The Six Day War is an oft-told tale, but in no one else's study is there more understanding or more surprise." Martin Peretz, Publisher, The New Republic
"This is the most complete history to date of the Six Day War of 1967....Further, Six Days of War is an attack on 'post Zionism': the school of politics and history that casts Israel as the author of policies that intentionally promote the destruction of Palestine as a separate entity and of Palestinians as a people, not least through the occupation that began with the 1967 War. By contrast, Oren convincingly establishes in an often engrossing narrative the reactive, contingent nature of Israeli policy during both the crisis preceding the conflict and the war itself....This book could very well hit the bestseller list." Publishers Weekly (boxed, starred review)
"Michael Oren has combined a scholar's sense of thoroughness with a novelist's sense of drama in writing this polished and gripping history of the 1967 war. Using as many sources as are likely to be available, he has constructed the best account yet of the most momentous event in the modern Middle East — six days that shook the world." Fareed Zakaria, Editor, Newsweek International
This text provides an account of the Six Day War, in which Israel achieved a swift and stunning military victory against an Arab coalition led by Egypt. In the conflict Israel not only preserved its existence but redrew the map of the region, with fateful consequences.
About the Author
Michael B. Oren is the author of The Origins of the Second Arab-Israeli War, and has written extensively on Middle Eastern history and diplomatic affairs. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in Middle East studies, and has served as Director of Israel's Department of Inter-Religious Affairs in the government of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and as an advisor to the Israeli delegation to the United Nations. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.
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