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From early times, the British people have been drawn to the Holy Land through two major influences: the translation of the Bible into English and, later, the imperial need to control the road to India and access to the oil in the Middle East. Under these influences, one cultural and the other political, countless Englishmen - pilgrims, crusaders, missionaries, merchants, explorers, and surveyors - have made their way to the land of the ancient Hebrews.
With the lucidity and vividness that characterizes her work, Barbara Tuchman brings to life the development of these twin motives - the Bible and the sword - in the consciousness of the British people, until they were finally brought together at the end of World War I when Britain's conquest of Palestine from the Turks and the solemn moment of entering Jerusalem were imminent. Requiring a gesture of matching significance, that event evoked the Balfour Declaration of 1917, establishing a British-sponsored national home for the modern survivors of the people of the Old Testament.
In her account, first published in 1956, Ms. Tuchman demonstrates that the seeds of today's troubles in the Middle East were planted long before the first efforts at founding a modern state of Israel.
"In her métier as a narrative popular historical writer, Barbara Tuchman is supreme." ( Chicago Sun-Times)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Plimtuna on 06-09-10
Great historical insight into how we got to today
Once again, Barbara Tuckman has done a fine job of bringing history to life. Her review of the 1900 years of English fascination with the Holy Lands/Palestine leading up to the Balfour Mandate was very interesting. The insight on how all of that history led to the recreation of Israel as a Nation in Palestine was very informative. There is much shared in this book that many miss when considering the current situation of Arab and Jew.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
By J R Plummer on 04-10-15
Very informative. Worthwhile listen
I knew the history of the Palestine, but not how woven British history was with it back thousands of years. Well researched and explained. I'm downloading my next Tuchman book now.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful