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'Cursed Victory' is primarily centered around the diplomacy and negotiations between Israel, various Palestinian political entities, and Syria, from the time of the 19767 war, until the present day. Written by a former Israeli artillery officer, the book relates the long and convoluted history of attempts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through both official diplomatic efforts, as well as secret and unofficial attempts.
The book does a good job of describing the key players on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides, as well as providing much insight into efforts by American Presidents, including Ford, Carter, Clinton, and George W. Bush, to try to come up with a viable peace plan. In the narrative, we get only a glancing and incomplete view into the lives of the populace over whom the power brokers were negotiating, which is why I can only give this book three stars. Based on a great deal of reading of other sources, my feeling is that the conflict can only be poorly explained, without an understanding of the personal toll taken on the pawns in the conflict: the ordinary people.
Derek Perkins' narration is crisp, with a sophisticated British accent, but the net effect is to provide a rather dry delivery, devoid of the emotional impact that the events described in the book should convey.
Since most books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict end up getting either 5 star or 1 star reviews, reflecting the polarization of thought on this topic, allow me to add that the book is NOT heavy-handed with one particular bias, as some reviewers suggest.
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