Once in a great while, a book comes along that not only discusses a topic of interest, it changes the boundaries of that discussion forever. This is such a book. In How Israel Lost Richard Ben Cramer analyzes the four questions that have bedeviled Israel and Palestine for almost forty years:
I. Why Do We Care About Israel?
II. Why Don't the Palestinians Have a State?
III. What Is a Jewish State?
IV. Why Is There No Peace?
With personal observation and sharp and challenging argument, Cramer insists that Israel is losing her soul by maintaining her occupation of the lands conquered in the Six Day War. Israel has become a victim of that occupation no less than the Palestinians, who must have a nation of their own. Cramer makes clear for the first time why the occupation endures and how it corrupts and corrodes the societies of both Arab and Jew.
Cramer's portrait of those societies is both up to the minute and timeless, enlivened at every step by his trademark humor, by humane understanding of the people caught in the conflict, and by his astonishing gift for language, theirs and ours. Both his observations and arguments are drawn with startling clarity, informed by the fierce and fearless reporting that won him the Pulitzer Prize for Middle East coverage twenty-five years ago.
The result is a book destined to produce both heat and light -- it is both shocking and a delight to read. This is journalism so sharp that it will change the story it set out to tell.
Richard Ben Cramer (1950-2013) won the Pulitzer Prize for Middle East reporting in 1979. His journalism has appeared in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and Rolling Stone. He is the author of How Israel Lost: The Four Questions and the classic of modern American politics What It Takes: The Way to the White House.
"Cramer writes beautifully, and with intention. He seeks to force his readers, no matter what their stance might have been when they opened his book, to examine the harsh truths behind U.S. policies in the Middle East."
-- John Nichols, The Progressive
"Told without fear, this is a story that could -- if read with an open mind -- stir a much needed and honest debate about the future of U.S.-Israel relations."
-- Bob Kerrey, former Senator from Nebraska and President of The New School
"Cramer presents a strong case. You might not agree, but it's impossible to read this book and not think."
-- Jeff Guinn, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"Cramer...marshals facts and vivid anecdotes to back up his case."
-- Barbara Slavin, USA Today
"How Israel Lost has many virtues: moving stories about Israeli and Palestinian suffering; shrewd reporting...and a street-smart attitude that cuts through the fog of government doublespeak and partisan myth."
-- Jonathan Dorfman, The Boston Globe
"Solid and irrefutable...Cramer's theme is the tragic predicament of the Israelis and Palestinians...funny and bitterly sad, shrewd and down-to-earth....This book is a powerful polemic that deserves to be read."
-- Amos Elon, The New York Review of Books