Here you won't find the pages of a pedantic journal, praises to fantastic places or accounts of memorable encounters. This is a collection of stories, thoughts, images, and most of all odd stuff, even though to someone else it might actually look ordinary. To discern its bizarre side, in fact, special filters are needed: cynicism, fussiness, stubbornness, isolation, impudence, nosiness and nerdiness. All flaws that, in different measure, this semi-nomadic being has got embedded in his genes.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
O Jerusalem - Dominique Lapierre & Larry Collins, From Beirut to Jerusalem, Thomas, L. Friedman
A good thing about the current pandemic is that I’ve had plenty of time to read. I'm currently updating a list of the best books I’ve come across so far. Please see my home page for the previous entries.
16th item on the list.
The Arab-Israeli conflict, besides defining the personal histories of the millions of people directly involved in it, has had a strong impact on many aspects of the life of pretty much anyone living anywhere for the past 70 years.
Yet, although we are continuously targeted with loads of information about political tensions, uprisings, attacks, retaliations and diplomatic efforts, few - if any - of us have a clear idea of when, how and why it all started. In "O Jerusalem" Lapierre and Collins tried to condense years of research, documents and interviews to connect the dots and shed light on the first phase of the conflict: its background, events and main characters.
I first got to know about these two authors during a long trip to India, almost 20 years ago, when I read “Freedom at midnight”, a wonderful account of the dissolution of the British Raj and the ensuing India-Pakistan partition. Reading their books is more than learning: it’s feeling the events as if you were living them, except that once you stand up from your sofa you are still alive.
Bonus: if you are interested in the recent developments of the conflict you can read “From Beirut to Jerusalem”, another gem on the subject written by the American journalist Thomas L. Freedman.