The Best Books For Insight Into The Israeli Palestinian Conflict

The Books I Picked & Why

My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

By Ari Shavit

My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

Why this book?

My Promised Land is beautifully written, a story deeply informed by the author’s family history and the body of knowledge he built as an influential Israeli journalist. Shavit loves the place of his birth but doesn’t retreat from hard questions. He tells a powerful, poignant story of a state-created out of tragedy, and the brutal reality of what Jewish statehood has wrought for yet another disinherited group. There are no easy answers and Shavit offers none. But he presents the complexities and frustrations with intellectual rigor and literary grace.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Mural

By Mahmoud Darwish, John Berger, Rema Hammami

Mural

Why this book?

This collection of poetry by a revered Palestinian poet illuminates his people’s emotional and historic connection to the land that is now the state of Israel. His poems, many of which were set to music, are credited with solidifying a Palestinian national consciousness. His family was displaced from their home by the Israeli army; when they returned, they lived as second-class citizens. The work achingly describes an abiding sense of love and loss.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East

By Scott Anderson

Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East

Why this book?

T.E. Lawrence, best known from David Lean’s monumental film, is the centerpiece, but this book goes well beyond biography. It has the pace and feel of a thriller, but the research and analytical thinking of a serious historic account. Anderson, a novelist and war correspondent, finds the roots of today’s Middle East turmoil in World War I. He finds alliances, intrigue, and deceit that foreshadowed the turbulent future. His story provides valuable insight into the international politics that shaped the Mid-East after World War I, and set the stage for the dissonant future.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Death as a Way of Life: From Oslo to the Geneva Agreement

By David Grossman, Haim Watzman

Death as a Way of Life: From Oslo to the Geneva Agreement

Why this book?

In novels and non-fiction, Israeli author David Grossman has spent much of his career writing about the failed struggle for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. This series of essays, written over a period of years, chronicles moments of good will and hope on both sides, constantly undermined by sectarian passion and extremist opposition to peace. 


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Oslo

By J.T. Rogers

Oslo

Why this book?

Oslo is a theatrical rendering of the behind-the-scenes negotiations that led to the Oslo Accords in 1993. This Tony-Award-winning play takes a perhaps unreasonably optimistic view of potential peace. Nor will reading (or better yet, seeing) this play satisfy a serious researcher’s desire for historic detail. But it lays out the emotional stakes with humanity and humor, not qualities one usually dares to associate with the conflict in the Middle East.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Random Book Lists