100 books like A State at Any Cost

By Tom Segev, Haim Watzman (translator),

Here are 100 books that A State at Any Cost fans have personally recommended if you like A State at Any Cost. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956

Ian Lustick Author Of Paradigm Lost: From Two-State Solution to One-State Reality

From my list on origins of Israeli policies toward Palestinians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began studying the Israeli-Palestinian relationship as an idealistic Brandeis University student living in Jerusalem in 1969, when I directly encountered the Palestinian problem and the realities of the occupation. Trained at Berkeley to be a political scientist I devoted my life to finding a path to a two-state solution. In 2010 I reached the tragic conclusion that the “point of no return” toward Israeli absorption of the occupied territories had indeed been passed. Bored with the ideas that my old way of thinking was producing, I forced myself to think, as Hannah Arendt advised, “without a bannister.” Paradigm Lost is the result.

Ian's book list on origins of Israeli policies toward Palestinians

Ian Lustick Why did Ian love this book?

In this startling and deeply researched volume, Benny Morris shows why the war of 1948, including Israeli expulsions of Palestinian Arabs during the fighting, was not itself the cause of the Nakba, the “catastrophe,” that resulted in three-quarters of a million Palestinian stateless Palestinians. The real cause, and that which accounts for much of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as it exists today, is the decision taken after the war to bar return of the refugees to their homes. Morris shows, year by year, how that decision was brutally and systematically enforced by barriers, reprisal raids, killing zones, and forcible expulsions. No other book comes close to the detail provided here, about the early 1950s campaign against “infiltration” that doomed Palestinian refugees to generations of exile, about the thinking of the Israeli politicians, officials, and officers who designed and implemented this ruthless effort, and about its unanticipated and costly consequences.

By Benny Morris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This revised and updated paperback edition of a highly successful study looks at the development of Israeli-Arab relations during the formative years 1949 to 1956, focusing on Arab infiltration into Israel and Israeli retaliation. Palestinian refugee raiding and cross-border attacks by Egyptian-controlled irregulars and commandos were a core phenomenon during this period and one of the chief causes of Israel's invasion of Sinai and the Gaza strip, the Israeli part of
the Anglo-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt in 1956.

Benny Morris probes the types of Arab infiltration and the attitude of Arab governments towards the phenomenon, and traces the evolution of…


Book cover of Generals in the Cabinet Room: How the Military Shapes Israeli Policy

Ian Lustick Author Of Paradigm Lost: From Two-State Solution to One-State Reality

From my list on origins of Israeli policies toward Palestinians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began studying the Israeli-Palestinian relationship as an idealistic Brandeis University student living in Jerusalem in 1969, when I directly encountered the Palestinian problem and the realities of the occupation. Trained at Berkeley to be a political scientist I devoted my life to finding a path to a two-state solution. In 2010 I reached the tragic conclusion that the “point of no return” toward Israeli absorption of the occupied territories had indeed been passed. Bored with the ideas that my old way of thinking was producing, I forced myself to think, as Hannah Arendt advised, “without a bannister.” Paradigm Lost is the result.

Ian's book list on origins of Israeli policies toward Palestinians

Ian Lustick Why did Ian love this book?

Yoram Peri’s expertise on the historical entanglements of the military and political sectors in Israel is unrivaled.  Based on personal interviews with all major players Peri goes behind the scenes to show the real meaning of the standard Israeli formula that the “Arab problem” should be seen “through the gunsight.” He describes how different generals, even those open to an accommodation with the Palestinians and opposed to settlers, were either stymied or transformed into saboteurs of the Oslo peace process. This pattern he attributes to the hegemonic psychology, standard operating procedures, processes of socialization, and political demands, associated with the way the Israel Defense Forces are organized and integrated into Israeli politics. Particularly vivid is his portrayal of upper-echelon Israeli military frustration at its forced withdrawal from Lebanon and how that resulted in the IDF’s extraordinarily violent and destructive treatment of the Gaza Strip.

By Yoram Peri,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Generals in the Cabinet Room as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A dramatic shift of power has taken place within Israel's political system; where once the military was usually the servant of civilian politicians, today, argues Yoram Peri, generals lead the way when it comes to foreign and defense policymaking.


Book cover of Citizen Strangers: Palestinians and the Birth of Israel’s Liberal Settler State

Ian Lustick Author Of Paradigm Lost: From Two-State Solution to One-State Reality

From my list on origins of Israeli policies toward Palestinians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began studying the Israeli-Palestinian relationship as an idealistic Brandeis University student living in Jerusalem in 1969, when I directly encountered the Palestinian problem and the realities of the occupation. Trained at Berkeley to be a political scientist I devoted my life to finding a path to a two-state solution. In 2010 I reached the tragic conclusion that the “point of no return” toward Israeli absorption of the occupied territories had indeed been passed. Bored with the ideas that my old way of thinking was producing, I forced myself to think, as Hannah Arendt advised, “without a bannister.” Paradigm Lost is the result.

Ian's book list on origins of Israeli policies toward Palestinians

Ian Lustick Why did Ian love this book?

For the first eighteen years of Israel’s existence most Arabs in the country were ruled by a military administration. It was formally abolished only a year before the conquest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967 and the establishment of Israeli military rule in those territories. The story of that early military government is not well known, except by specialists. But with the publication of Shira Robinson’s book, based on declassified archival material, we now know the details of how Arab citizens of Israel were subordinated, exploited, and manipulated, under false rationales of security concerns, in order to bolster the political position of the dominant Labor Party, to advance Zionist goals of land acquisition and subsidization of Jewish settlement, and, as the title of the book suggests, to help present Israel as a “liberal” state while concealing its settler colonialist dynamics.

By Shira Robinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Citizen Strangers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Following the 1948 war and the creation of the state of Israel, Palestinian Arabs comprised just fifteen percent of the population but held a much larger portion of its territory. Offered immediate suffrage rights and, in time, citizenship status, they nonetheless found their movement, employment, and civil rights restricted by a draconian military government put in place to facilitate the colonization of their lands. Citizen Strangers traces how Jewish leaders struggled to advance their historic settler project while forced by new international human rights norms to share political power with the very people they sought to uproot.

For the next…


Book cover of Land, Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1882-1914

Ian Lustick Author Of Paradigm Lost: From Two-State Solution to One-State Reality

From my list on origins of Israeli policies toward Palestinians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began studying the Israeli-Palestinian relationship as an idealistic Brandeis University student living in Jerusalem in 1969, when I directly encountered the Palestinian problem and the realities of the occupation. Trained at Berkeley to be a political scientist I devoted my life to finding a path to a two-state solution. In 2010 I reached the tragic conclusion that the “point of no return” toward Israeli absorption of the occupied territories had indeed been passed. Bored with the ideas that my old way of thinking was producing, I forced myself to think, as Hannah Arendt advised, “without a bannister.” Paradigm Lost is the result.

Ian's book list on origins of Israeli policies toward Palestinians

Ian Lustick Why did Ian love this book?

Gershon Shafir’s book on the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a crucial text for all those seeking to reconstruct a history of Israel, the Zionist movement, and the encounter between Jews and Arabs in Palestine. He did the unprecedented act of actually reading and studying virtually all the diaries and journals kept, over decades, by the small but extraordinarily dedicated and articulate group of early Zionist settlers. Contrary to official myths about a visionary Zionist blueprint for building the institutions we associate with Israel, Shafir shows that the kibbutz, the Jewish National Fund, the principle of Jewish labor, and, ultimately, the idea of the kind of “Jewish state” that actually emerged, were not the cause of the confrontation with the Arabs, but a product of it. 

This brings Palestinian Arabs into the story of Zionism in the best and most responsible way—by showing how real people, confronting desperate personal…

By Gershon Shafir,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Land, Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1882-1914 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gershon Shafir challenges the heroic myths about the foundation of the State of Israel by investigating the struggle to control land and labor during the early Zionist enterprise. He argues that it was not the imported Zionist ideas that were responsible for the character of the Israeli state, but the particular conditions of the local conflict between the European "settlers" and the Palestinian Arab population.


Book cover of Wellington: The Path to Victory 1769-1814

Philip Dwyer Author Of Napoleon: The Path to Power 1769 - 1799

From my list on the Napoleonic Wars and their impact on Europe.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an Australian historian specializing in the French Revolution and Napoleon. I have spent a goodly part of my career writing a three-volume biography of Napoleon, alongside chapters, articles, and edited books that aimed at reassessing the man and the period. Working on Napoleon and the French as occupiers led me into the history of massacre and more broadly into the history of violence. I studied under the preeminent French Napoleonic scholar, Jean Tulard, at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, Paris IV.

Philip's book list on the Napoleonic Wars and their impact on Europe

Philip Dwyer Why did Philip love this book?

Speaking of which, this is the first of a two-volume biography of Wellington and is no doubt the most exhaustive and the most up-to-date biography of the man and his career. I’ve personally always found Wellington to be a fairly unlikeable character and there is nothing in this biography that made me change my mind. However, Muir’s familiarity with the sources and the archives enables him to integrate the personal, the military, and the political into this thorough examination of the man that ultimately defeated Napoleon.

By Rory Muir,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Wellington as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A landmark contribution to understanding the real man behind the heroic legend inspired by the triumph at Waterloo

The Duke of Wellington was not just Britain's greatest soldier, although his seismic struggles as leader of the Allied forces against Napoleon in the Peninsular War deservedly became the stuff of British national legend. Wellington was much more: a man of vision beyond purely military matters, a politically astute thinker, and a canny diplomat as well as lover, husband, and friend. Rory Muir's masterful new biography, the first of a two-volume set, is the fruit of a lifetime's research and discovery into…


Book cover of Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography: From Grantham to the Falklands

Judith Lissauer Cromwell Author Of Florence Nightingale, Feminist

From my list on biographies of women who made a difference.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been captivated by stories about powerful women. After a corporate career as one of the first female executives in the international world of Wall Street, while raising two children as a single working parent, I returned to academia. I am a magna cum laude graduate of Smith College, hold a doctorate in modern European history, with academic distinction, from New York University. I wanted to ascertain whether the mostly male writers of history were correct in attributing the success of exceptional women to the bedroom. Meticulous research yielded a different narrative, one I delight in sharing.

Judith's book list on biographies of women who made a difference

Judith Lissauer Cromwell Why did Judith love this book?

Impressively researched, elegantly written, and sprinkled with dry humor, Moore’s account is an even-handed portrait of a remarkable woman who turned her sex and her humble background from handicaps into assets, and used her outstanding political skills to become a driving force in twentieth-century British history.  The author addresses his polarizing subject’s inconsistencies, and her bizarre yet conventional personality, to present a multidimensional picture of Britain’s first female prime minister.

By Charles Moore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Margaret Thatcher as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Not For Turning is the first volume of Charles Moore's authorized biography of Margaret Thatcher, the longest serving Prime Minister of the twentieth century and one of the most influential political figures of the postwar era.

Charles Moore's biography of Margaret Thatcher, published after her death on 8 April 2013, immediately supersedes all earlier books written about her. At the moment when she becomes a historical figure, this book also makes her into a three dimensional one for the first time. It gives unparalleled insight into her early life and formation, especially through her extensive correspondence with her sister, which…


Book cover of Churchill

Anthony Tucker-Jones Author Of Churchill, Master and Commander: Winston Churchill at War 1895-1945

From my list on Winston Churchill and which book to start with.

Why am I passionate about this?

Anthony Tucker-Jones, a former intelligence officer, is an author, commentator, and writer who specializes in military history, with well over 60 books to his name. His work has also been published in an array of magazines and online. He regularly appears on television and radio commenting on current and historical military matters.

Anthony's book list on Winston Churchill and which book to start with

Anthony Tucker-Jones Why did Anthony love this book?

Left-wing historian Ponting has his detractors for what many regarded as a critical revisionist approach to Churchill’s life. However, there is no denying the depth of his research. Furthermore, far from coming over as an overt critic, his study is far more balanced than often thought.

By Clive Ponting,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Churchill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ponting's text challenges the Churchill myth, declaring that much of the accepted interpretation of Churchill's life stems from his own writings about himself. Using source material released during the past 25 years, it questions his competence as a war leader and the true level of his popularity.


Book cover of Salazar: The Dictator Who Refused to Die

Wendy Lee Hermance Author Of Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

From my list on why Portugal is weird.

Why am I passionate about this?

Wendy Lee Hermance was heard on National Public Radio (NPR) stations with her Missouri Folklore series in the 1980s. She earned a journalism degree from Stephens College, served as Editor and Features Writer for Midwestern and Southern university and regional publications, then settled into writing real estate contracts. In 2012 she attended University of Sydney, earning a master’s degree by research thesis. Her books include Where I’m Going with this Poem, a memoir in poetry and prose. Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat marks her return to feature writing as collections of narrative non-fiction stories.

Wendy's book list on why Portugal is weird

Wendy Lee Hermance Why did Wendy love this book?

My neighbor, who owns the local agricultural store where I buy honey, told me almost casually that his father died in prison under Salazar. 

Gallagher has written 15 books on world history and politics, so I chose his to understand the dictator´s lasting impact on society. Salazar hung with dictator Franco strategically as a shield against Hitler, who he told to lay off all European Jews with Portuguese names because “Portugal does not recognize racial distinctions.” Personally above reproach Salazar was tolerant of homosexuality and promiscuity in others, and he welcomed back exiled and imprisoned opponents into regime leadership. Exploitations by the professional guilds Salazar built exist today, but so does social value on correct and ethical behaviour. 

Maybe my neighbor´s father stole a pig.

By Tom Gallagher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Salazar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fifty years after his death, Portugal's Salazar remains a controversial and enigmatic figure, whose conservative and authoritarian legacy still divides opinion. Some see him as a reactionary and oppressive figure who kept Portugal backward, while others praise his honesty, patriotism and dedication to duty. Contemporary radicals are wary of his unabashed elitism and scepticism about social progress, but many conservatives give credit to his persistent warnings about the threats to Western civilisation from runaway materialism and endless experimentation.

For a dictator, Salazar's end was anti-climactic-a domestic accident. But during his nearly four decades in power, he survived less through reliance…


Book cover of Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink

Gershen Kaufman and Lev Raphael Author Of Stick Up For Yourself!: Every Kid's Guide to Personal Power and Positive Self-Esteem

From my list on conquering adversity.

Why are we passionate about this?

Gershen Kaufman, Ph.D., professor emeritus in psychology at Michigan State University, is a pioneer in the study of shame and author of ground-breaking books on shame. His work is considered foundational in the Recovery Movement and in Psychology. Lev Raphael, Ph.D., is an educator, editor, and author publishing in genres from memoir to mystery.  We've co-authored several books based on an innovative program we created at Michigan State University, which Free Spirit Publishing invited us to adapt for kids. This program teaches you how to build self-esteem: a crucial skill that can be taught just like reading, writing, and arithmetic—and is equally essential to living a secure, confident life.

Gershen's book list on conquering adversity

Gershen Kaufman and Lev Raphael Why did Gershen love this book?

A nation at war, facing seemingly insurmountable odds, with much of Europe already conquered and Germany winning every battle, triumphant over all—leaving Britain isolated, its very survival now imperiled. Yet a solitary voice defies the inevitable. “We shall never surrender,” cries Winston Churchill.  Single-handedly, Churchill turns back the voices of defeatism, standing firm against all those both in and out of his government who wanted to sue for peace with Adolf Hitler. He was defiant to the end. This is a book about England’s darkest hour, when she stood alone on the brink of catastrophe, and about one man, Winston Churchill, whose courage, enormous strength of will, and clarity of purpose, saved Britain from disaster and arguably saved Western Civilization along with it.

By Anthony McCarten,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Darkest Hour as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER AND OFFICIAL TIE-IN TO THE AWARD-WINNING MOTION PICTURE STARRING GARY OLDMAN, WHO TOOK HOME BEST ACTOR AT THE OSCARS FOR HIS SUBLIME TURN AS WINSTON CHURCHILL.

From the prize-winning screenwriter of The Theory of Everything, this is a cinematic, behind-the-scenes account of a crucial moment which takes us inside the mind of one of the world's greatest leaders - and provides a revisionist, more rounded portrait of his leadership.

May, 1940. Britain is at war, European democracies are falling rapidly and the public are unaware of this dangerous new world. Just days after his…


Book cover of Churchill: Walking with Destiny

Anthony Tucker-Jones Author Of Churchill, Master and Commander: Winston Churchill at War 1895-1945

From my list on Winston Churchill and which book to start with.

Why am I passionate about this?

Anthony Tucker-Jones, a former intelligence officer, is an author, commentator, and writer who specializes in military history, with well over 60 books to his name. His work has also been published in an array of magazines and online. He regularly appears on television and radio commenting on current and historical military matters.

Anthony's book list on Winston Churchill and which book to start with

Anthony Tucker-Jones Why did Anthony love this book?

When approaching Churchill, it is often very difficult to know quite where to start. That dilemma is solved by Roberts’ scholarly study. He is extremely balanced and nuanced in his approach to the country’s most famous prime minister and wartime leader. His depth of research is breath-taking and Roberts’ work will rightly remain a standard text for years to come.

By Andrew Roberts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Churchill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

One of The Wall Street Journal's Ten Best Books of 2018
One of The Economist's Best Books of 2018
One of The New York Times's Notable Books of 2018

"Unarguably the best single-volume biography of Churchill . . . A brilliant feat of storytelling, monumental in scope, yet put together with tenderness for a man who had always believed that he would be Britain's savior." -Wall Street Journal

In this landmark biography of Winston Churchill based on extensive new material, the true genius of the man, statesman and leader can finally be fully seen and understood--by…


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