The author of this encyclopedic study strives for objectivity without detachment. To a very substantial degree, he succeeds. Rejecting the notion that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rooted in ancient antagonisms, Tessler devotes the initial chapters to the parallel, sometimes similar development of the two national movements with their distinctive historical memories and common claim to the land of Palestine. Much of the story of the conflict that erupted in the twentieth century is familiar, but the author has read widely and is determined to give more than one side of the story. This compulsively evenhanded approach helps to account for the length of the book and will leave partisan readers dissatisfied. But most will profit from the careful scholarship and the balanced judgments and will hope that he is right in concluding that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute may finally be on its way to resolution.
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