Synopses & Reviews
More than a decade before Israel's New Historians revolutionized the study of Israeli history, English journalist David Hirst wrote The Gun and the Olive Branch
, a classic, myth-breaking general history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Hirst, former Middle East correspondent of the Guardian, traces the origins of the terrible conflict back to the 1880s to show how Arab violence, although often cruel and fanatical, is a response to the challenge of repeated aggression. The Gun and the Olive Branch is an absorbing, potentially controversial, history of the Middle Eastern conflict that is indispensable to anyone with an interest in world politics and by partisans of both sides.
This classic and controversial account of the origins of the Middle East conflict returns to print updated with a lengthy introduction that reflects on the course of recent Middle Eastern history especially the abortive Israeli-Palestinian peace process and 9/11.
"A lifelong sympathizer with the Palestinian tragedy and a first-rate reporter who has devoted his life to living in and writing about the Arab world." Edward Said
"A brilliant analytical mind." Robert Fisk, author of Pity the Nation
"[T]his book will make uncomfortable reading for many who will no doubt do what they can to discredit him. But they will find it difficult to challenge the integrity of this quizzical and caustic reporter who has an unrivalled record of offending Arab governments and being banned by them." Financial Times
"First published in 1977, it now has a 130-page polemical foreword reflecting subsequent developments....If anything, the tone is even darker than in the original text." The Guardian
About the Author
David Hirst contributes to the Guardian, Christian Science Monitor, the Irish Times, the St. Petersburg Times, Newsday, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Beirut Daily Star. He is the author of Sadat, a study of the late Egyptian president who once denounced him over the airwaves. Hirst has been banned at various times from visiting Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He lives in Beirut.