The Way to the Spring

The Way to the Spring

Life and Death in Palestine

Book - 2016
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From an award-winning journalist, a brave and necessary immersion into the everyday struggles of Palestinian life 

Over the past three years, American writer Ben Ehrenreich has been traveling to and living in the West Bank, staying with Palestinian families in its largest cities and its smallest villages. Along the way he has written major stories for American outlets, including a remarkable  New York Times Magazine  cover story. Now comes the powerful new work that has always been his ultimate goal,  The Way to the Spring .

We are familiar with brave journalists who travel to bleak or war-torn places on a mission to listen and understand, to gather the stories of people suffering from extremes of oppression and want: Katherine Boo, Ryszard Kapuściński, Ted Conover, and Philip Gourevitch among them. Palestine is, by any measure, whatever one's politics, one such place. Ruled by the Israeli military, set upon and harassed constantly by Israeli settlers who admit unapologetically to wanting to drive them from the land, forced to negotiate an ever more elaborate and more suffocating series of fences, checkpoints, and barriers that have sundered home from field, home from home, this is a population whose living conditions are unique, and indeed hard to imagine. In a great act of bravery, empathy and understanding, Ben Ehrenreich, by placing us in the footsteps of ordinary Palestinians and telling their story with surpassing literary power and grace, makes it impossible for us to turn away.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Penguin Press, 2016.
ISBN: 9781594205903
Branch Call Number: 956.953 EHR
Characteristics: xiv, 428 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., map ; 25 cm.

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lukasevansherman
Aug 28, 2016

"In the case of Palestine, we deliberately and rightly decline to accept the principle of self-determination."-Lord Balfour, author of the Balfour Declaration
A critical and crucial book about the Palestinian experience in the West Bank. Depending on your politics, you'll call it the occupation. Regardless, the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians has been a seemingly insoluble issue for decades and one which has led to violence over and over again. Americans are conditioned to be pro-Israel without really understanding the history, complexity, or nuances of the situation. Ben Ehrenreich (his mother is Barbara) puts a very human face on the occupation with this incisive, intelligent, and compassionate book. While it presumes some familiarity with the history, Ehrenreich does a good job of putting it in context, but his real focus is on the human cost of the occupation, which is considerable. An eye-opening and necessary book that should be required reading. Some other useful books about Israel/Palestine: "1967" (about the 6-day war), "13 Days in September" (about the Camp David accords), and "Lawrence in Arabia" (about the roots of the creation of the Jewish state).

t
tienshan
Jul 04, 2016

This is a stunning book. Ehrenreich writes vividly about the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. He offers intimate portraits of villagers' lives and is meticulous in documenting the impact of the occupation. The book reveals a way of life dying in the shadow of ever-expanding settlements. This is what occupation looks like on the ground where theft, abuse and humiliation are the tools of oppression.

b
belacqua
Jun 20, 2016

I certainly hope that more than one only book is purchased by the library.

The recommendations don't mention several important books from the anti-Zionist perspective;
Max Blumenthal's 'Goliath'; Ilan Pappe's 'The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine'; Mearshimer and Walt, 'The Israel Lobby' and others.

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