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The Yom Kippur War

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The Yom Kippur War

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The Yom Kippur War
The Epic Encounter that Transformed the Middle East

By Abraham Rabinovich
Schocken Books, NY (2004)
ISBN: 0-8052-4176-0

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - October 28, 2004

The Yom Kippur War of 1973 was a pivotal event in Israeli and Middle Eastern history. October 6, 2003 marked the thirtieth anniversary of the start of the Yom Kippur War, and the consequences of that war still reverberate today. In The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter that Transformed the Middle East, Abraham Rabinovich has written a fascinating and authoritative account of this epic war, and he provides an analysis of its aftermath.

In writing this monumental book, Rabinovich has taken pains to ensure that his commentary is well rounded and even handed. He personally interviewed participants on all sides of the conflict, and he incorporates their observations and experiences into the narrative. Not only does Rabinovich tell the story from the viewpoint of the major players such as Golda Meir, Anwar Sadat, and Henry Kissinger, but also from the viewpoint of the officers and foot soldiers who fought on the battlefields. He has made extensive use of recently declassified information that provides intriguing insights into the success that the Israeli military establishment had in tracking the movements of both the Egyptian and Syrian forces as they prepared to attack what they thought would be an unsuspecting Israel. Rabinovich looks at the role the American and other Western powers had in the lead up to and prosecution of the war and how the aftermath of the war still impacts Israel's relationships with their Middle Eastern neighbors and their Western 'allies'. He also illuminates the shadow war that was played out between the American and the Soviets contemporaneously with the Yom Kippur War.

The information that Rabinovich delineates within the pages of this book not only provides new insights into this monumental period in history, but it also helps the reader to understand some of the residual effects of the war and the role it has played in the current Arab-Israeli conflict. The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter that Transformed the Middle East is an important new work on this compelling and complicated subject. Although the actual war only lasted nineteen-days, the regressions of the war were numerous. The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter that Transformed the Middle East is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the Middle East and Israel's place in its geopolitical make up. It is not only a significant historical work on the war itself, providing a play-by-play account of the war, but the information contained within its pages is also integral in understanding the mind set of the Arabs and the Israelis at the time of the war.

The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter that Transformed the Middle East is ideal for the general reader as well as for scholars. The text includes endnotes, illustrations, and a concise, and up-to-date 'selected bibliography'. The book is perfect for anyone interested in Israeli history, Middle Eastern politics, or military history.


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