Arab and Jew

  • by David K. Shipler
  • Narrated by Robert Blumenfeld
  • 28 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Jew, according to the Arab stereotype, is a brutal, violent coward; the Arab, to the prejudiced Jew, is a primitive creature of animal vengeance and cruel desires. In this monumental work that won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 1986, now extensively revised and more relevant than ever, David Shipler delves into the origins of the prejudices that have been intensified by war, terrorism, and nationalism.Focusing on the diverse cultures that exist side by side in Israel and Israeli-controlled territories, Shipler examines the process of indoctrination that begins in schools; he discusses the far ranging effects of socioeconomic differences, historical conflicts between Islam and Judaism, attitudes about the Holocaust, and much more. And he writes of the people: the Arab woman in love with a Jew, the retired Israeli military officer, the Palestinian guerrilla, the handsome actor whose father is Arab and whose mother is Jewish.For Shipler, and for all who listen to this book, their stories and hundreds of others reflect not only the reality of wounded spirits but also a glimmer of hope for eventual coexistence in the Promised Land.


What the Critics Say

Pulitzer Prize winner, Non-Fiction, 1987
"The best and most comprehensive work there is in the English language on the subject." (New York Times)
"Thought provoking, controversial, and timely." (Library Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

'Arab and Jew' Needs a Good Editor

While I appreciate the importance of the topic, 27 hours of almost undigested and poorly organized material tend to bury the subject in a landslide of accounts of misundertandings and misdeeds through the years of this seemingly eternal struggle. The book also seemed to be never ending (the fallacy of imitative form?) Both my husband and I, though very interested in the subject, gave up after Part I. The audio version also suffers from a narrator who seems to be disinterested in the material he is reading, perhaps understandable considering the great length of the work.
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- Robert W. Gillespie "Show Me!"

more a psychology than a history

This was one of the first audiobooks I bought, and i listened to it in 2005 before my second visit to Israel. I'm writing a review now because I was a little shocked that its overall rating was so low: I found it excellent. The book is not a history of the israeli-palestinian conflict. Rather, it is the attempt of a journalist living in israel to explore the mental images that israeli jews and israeli-arabs/palestinian-israelis/palestinians have of each other, in an attempt to understand how this influences their behavior and discourse. This seems to me to be a critical exercise: if you go to the websites of Al Jazeera or the New York Times or Haaretz you find pretty similar reporting of events in the region, and yet people take such enormously different messages from the same events. I found Arab and Jew to be really helpful in giving me a hint of the mindset from which people were coming.
Other reviewers have commented that there seems more emphasis on the wrongdoings of the Israelis (i.e. jewish israelis) than the palestinians, and by my recollection this may be true, although the Palestinians come in for plenty of flack as well. The authors stated intention is to make everyone uncomfortable- at least the extremists on both sides. I personally don't believe that an objective view of the middle east exists... how could it? whose would it be? ... and the best we can hope for is honest explorations, which is what i found this to be. At least, I felt that it helped me in my own exploration and interactions with Israelis, by giving me some sort of a sense of where they were coming from.

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- Ann

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-25-2003
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.