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4 Works 1,249 Membros 45 Críticas 2 Favorited

About the Author

Sandy Tolan is the cofounder of Homelands Productions. He has won more than twenty national and international journalism awards, was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, and has taught journalism at the University of California, Berkeley

Includes the name: sandy tolan

Obras por Sandy Tolan


Conhecimento Comum



As much a biography of nations as two families, while still as focused on character and individuals as on history, this is a careful and fascinating work. Built from massive amounts of research and interviews, the work still manages to read like a story and quickly becomes impossible to put down even as it progresses with ever more nuance.

I'm glad to have finally gotten around to reading it, and feel like I've got a far better handle on the intricacies surrounding this part of the Middle East.

… (mais)
whitewavedarling | 43 outras críticas | Aug 28, 2023 |
Throughout the book much is made of the "dialog" and "friendship" of the protagonists, Dalia and Bashir. This was completely lost on me. It is Dalia who consistently opens her heart and actively seeks an understanding. She looks beyond herself to the situation of the Arabs that once inhabited the land. She tries to envision a solution. Bashir does none of these things. He does not once open his heart nor seek understanding, he simply goes through the motions of basic Arab hospitality. He does not look beyond himself, not once, to see the plight of the Jewish people. He never tries to envision a solution, instead fixating on one single scenario and blinding himself to anything beyond.

The author tried really hard to be fair, and in that I think he does a good job.
… (mais)
blueskygreentrees | 43 outras críticas | Jul 30, 2023 |
Well-written non-fiction that sheds light on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. It highlights two families connected by one home in the current Israeli town of Ramla. The Khairis, a Palestinian family, built the house in 1936, and planted a lemon tree in the yard. They were exiled in the wake of the violence during the 1948 war. The eldest son, Bashir, vowed to return one day, to reclaim their home. The Eshkenazis, a family of Bulgarian Jews, arrived in newly established Israel, and moved into the home with the lemon tree. Their only child, Dalia, was only a year old at the time.

The book opens with the meeting of Dalia and Bashir after the Six-Day War. Bashir returns briefly to al-Ramla, seeking to see his old home. He meets Dalia, and she invites him in. Tolan has written a history of the Middle East based around the unlikely friendship between Bashir and Dalia. He interweaves their personal stories with documentation found in his research. He includes direct quotes from interviews, primary sources, and declassified materials. This alternation between micro and macro is effective in conveying the multiple Arab and Israeli perspectives, such that the reader can put himself or herself in their shoes.

The book spans the historical panorama, including such topics as the political conferences, the leaders of various movements, important locations, the involvements of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt, and differing governmental policies that changed over time. I read the version that includes an epilogue, which provides an update as of 2020. Tolan’s book helps facilitate understanding of the complex issues in the Middle East and will appeal to those who want to learn more about the history of the region and the outlook for an eventual peaceful resolution.
… (mais)
Castlelass | 43 outras críticas | Oct 30, 2022 |
A nonfiction account of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict in the Middle East. A Palestinian refugee returns to his home, now occupied by an Israeli woman. They find common ground despite their differences. The material was dry in spite of what should be a heart-wrenching situation. I wanted more heart and fewerhard facts.

"Each side has an ingenuity for justifying its own position."
bookworm12 | 43 outras críticas | Sep 28, 2022 |



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