Jews and Muslims in the Arab World: Haunted by Pasts Real and Imagined

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Product Details
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
6.6 X 8.9 X 1.02 inches | 1.45 pounds

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About the Author
Jacob Lassner is professor of Jewish civilization in the departments of history and religion at Northwestern University. He is the author of seven books, most recently, The Middle East Remembered: Forged Identities, Competing Narratives, Contested Spaces and numerous articles on Jewish-Muslim relations and Near Eastern History.

S. Ilan Troen is the Karl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Chair in Israel Studies at Brandeis University and the Sam and Anna Lopin Professor in Modern History, emeritus, at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is the founding editor of Israel Studies (Indiana University Press), the leading journal in the field, and the author or editor of ten books on American, Jewish and Israeli History. His most recent book is Imagining Zion: Dreams, Designs and Realities in a Century of Jewish Settlement.
This impressive book deals with a significant topic that has not been studied before in a methodical and comprehensive manner. This comprehensive and comparative study extensively adds to our understanding of the two communities and their enduring conflict. This book should be read and digested by all those who are interested in these communities and their complex historical clash.--Gabriel (Gabi) Sheffer, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
This truly wonderful work should be essential reading for any serious scholar in Middle Eastern studies.--Khaleel Mohammed, San Diego State University
A fascinating study of the interface between memory and politics as reflected in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By providing a refreshing look at the pious myths bedeviling Middle Eastern politics, Lassner and Troen show with meticulous scholarship how both Arab nationalism as well as Zionism re-fashioned ancient traditions to legitimize modern political claims. With critical empathy to both sides, the authors warn against simplistic diplomatic attempts to solve the conflict without taking into account these deeply-held beliefs and traditions. At the same time, they call on both sides to listen to the voice of the Other and realize that history is not a seamless coat, but a multi-faceted mosaic, in which accepting the legitimacy of the other side does not by and in itself undermine one's own narrative.--Shlomo Avineri, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
This is an eloquent, clear-eyed examination of the way in which the principal parties in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and their partisans have understood, used, and misused history, religion, and collective memory in their perceptions of themselves, their adversaries, and the very essence of their relation. The authors' calm and reasoned voices leave the reader neither naively optimistic nor hopelessly pessimistic. This book ought to be required reading for anyone interested in the contemporary Middle East, and not least among those who should read this wise and informative book are the people of that troubled region themselves.--Norman A. Stillman, University of Oklahoma
An excellent and unorthodox volume on Israel and the Arabs. This is not just another book on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The authors, whose objective is to reinterpret developments in the Arab-Israeli conflict, go about their corrective task with impressive erudition and forthrightness. The authors have written two books grafted into one, providing a unique culturally informed overview of the Arab-Israeli conflict. They have produced an essential and long overdue complement to existing scholarship on the subject. This is truly an important book.--Asher Susser, Tel Aviv University "Journal of Israeli History: Politics, Society, Culture"
Lassner and Troen have produced nothing less than a definitive prolegomenon to the Arab-Israel conflict and other current conflicts involving Muslims and Jews. They show that historical memory matters a great deal; it is neither irrelevant nor determinative, and not all historical communities are "imagined." Written in an exceptionally reader-friendly style, Jews and Muslims in the Arab World is a unique and riveting narrative, fair to both traditions, that anyone with even a mild interest will have trouble putting down.--Alan Dowty, University of Notre Dame
Jews and Muslims in the Arab World shows why the Jewish and Palestinian struggles for self-determination have played such a central role in the history of these two peoples and how that history has provided the resources for both continuing the conflict and changing its configuration. Anyone interested in understanding the antipathy between Israelis and Palestinians and between Jews and Muslims will find no clearer introduction or explanation.--Donna Robinson Divine, Smith College
This is a remarkable work of scholarship and a valuable contribution to our understanding of the conflict.--2007 "Jewish Book World"
Scholars Jacob Lassner and S. Ilan Troen step forward with a masterly, majestic, original and thought-provoking volume....the authors deserve praise....Never before has the chasm which separates the Muslim world from its rivals been described more eloquently than it is in this book. It can only be hoped that this splendid volume, written by authors with an extraordinary knowledge of Islam and the Arab world, will do much to expose the naivete of those who constantly beat their breat in contrition before those who seek the destruction of the Jewish state.--2008 "Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs"