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Saturday, April 3, 2004

That War, Revisited

Two new books, in English, are discussed this weekend in Haaretz.

"The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter That Transformed the Middle East," by Abraham Rabinovich. Schocken Books, 560 pages, $27.50.

I must confess that although I have not yet read any of them, for Abraham Rabinovich I have special sympathy: years ago he came all the way from Jerusalem to my HILAI project in the Galilee, stayed with us for two days, and wrote for Jerusalem Post a glowing excellent four-page reportage.

In Haaretz Hebrew online edition Prof. Benny Moris discusses the book with much appreciation.

In Haaretz English edition Chemi Shalev recommends Rabinovich and a second new book on that traumatic experience:

"The Eve of Destruction: The Untold Story of the Yom Kippur War," by Howard Blum. HarperCollins, 350 pages, $25.95.

I cannot wait to read them both!

"...Of contemporary interest, of course, are the descriptions of the battlefield antics and achievements of then-general Ariel Sharon, whose actual accomplishments, as depicted in both books, fall far short of the legend and hype that have become the conventional legacy of the war. Blum goes so far as to quote then-colonel Amnon Reshef's internal thoughts as "believing that there would always be a danger lurking in Arik's command, a rashness or an unruliness that was nothing less than madness."

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