“Even though I’m always reading something, I tend to read in ‘bursts’ or ‘clusters.’ This spring and summer I was preoccupied by the Middle East. I wasn’t prompted by recent events in the news actually, but instead it all began by reading this first book.”
“This book had a profound effect on me. Rather than simply focusing on ‘the problem’ of Israel’s current situation, Shavit presents the contradictions inherent to Zionism through personal and honest highlights of the key milestone events in all of Israel’s history. I was moved by Shavit’s book, and it led me to want to know more.”
“This was a denser read, but no less captivating. In it, Anderson places T.E Lawrence alongside other adventurers and rogues who laid the groundwork for the current mess that is the modern Middle East. The history is meticulously reported, and the characters seem like they could have come from a Graham Greene spy novel.
“This was published this fall, just when I needed to be brought into the 20th century! This book details the 13 days of peace talks hosted by Jimmy Carter at Camp David, between Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin. Wright chronicles not only the intense and fractured talks, but more importantly, he investigates and presents the personalities of the two leaders to show that, in the end it is people, individuals, not governments or ‘policy makers,’ that get things done. And even though the Isarel-Egypt peace accord was incomplete and didn’t provide enough of a framework to solve all problems in the Middle East, it is the only one of its kind — it has held for 30 years — and it is meaningful for that reason.”