The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter That Transformed the Middle East Paperback – Oct 4 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Rabinovich, a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, has researched thoroughly and written with clarity, balance and compassion for the victims of a war much larger and fiercer than most Western readers have believed. Anwar Sadat emerges as a major player, having reformed the Egyptian Army and evolved a national strategy of limited objectives. The Israelis, Rabinovich argues, then played into Sadat's hands by intelligence failures that delayed their mobilization, gross underestimation of Arab fighting qualities, and not reckoning on new enemy weapons (the SA-6 antiaircraft missile and the Sagger antitank missile) that would make the Israeli Air Force and armor-heavy ground troops vulnerable. The result was a war that began with serious Israeli losses and major Arab advances, in the Sinai and on the Golan Heights, within miles of Israeli civilians. Sheer hard fighting by the Israelis at the front limited the damage, however, and in spite of leadership conflicts and a few outright failures that Rabinovich dramatizes with flair, a viable Israeli strategy supported by improved tactics gradually emerged. The result was a victory for Israel that was actually more devastating than the Six-Day War, with the added effect of leading to a partial peace with Egypt and later Syria and Jordan. Rabinovich may overpraise Henry Kissinger, and he may underplay the Israeli Air Force, but his book covers everything else at a level equally useful to both the newcomer and the experienced student of the subject.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The thirtieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War just passed, and this is the second major work to commemorate that conflict. Howard Blum's Eve of Destruction [BKL S 1 03] tended to focus on more sensational aspects, such as Israeli plans for nuclear war, double agents, and suicide pills for leaders. A resident of Jerusalem, Rabinovich is a journalist who covered the war for the Jerusalem Post. His work is more restrained than Blum's and emphasizes the military and political struggles. Yet the story contains inherent drama and tension, and Rabinovich effectively captures both. He uses recently declassified materials and information gleaned from participants to reveal how Israel was caught unprepared but managed to turn the tide with some bold tactical maneuvers. His portraits of familiar figures--Sadat, Meir, Sharon, Kissinger--are revealing and often surprising. His analysis of the long-term effects of the war is likely to stoke controversy in both Israel and the Arab world. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
All in all, a compelling book about a war that continues to shape the Mid-East even today.
What makes "The Yom Kippur War" so successful is that Rabinovich captures and dissects all of the elements necessary to look at the war not just as a series of battles, but as a subject worthy of historical study. These might be described as the prologue, the war itself (battles, casualties, personalities, etc.), battlefield innovation (tactics and weapons), geopolitics and historical perspective. Alone, each area is well researched and written, combined they form one of the most effective and impressive military histories one is likely to encounter.
By defining the Yom Kippur War as a product of numerous clashes dating back to Israel's founding, Rabinovich transcends a simple narrative of events and forces the reader to consider the root causes of the conflict, and how those causes dictated its course. One simple example is how Israel's stunning victory in The Six Day War lead to an institutional arrogance that meant they started the war poorly deployed and with limited ability to improvise in its early days. Moreover, Rabinovich does a nice job of capturing the Arab, and particularly the Egyptian, point of view.Read more ›
While I strongly recommend the book, I believe there were areas for improvement. The detail on some of the battlefield encounters could have been shortened. In addition, while the book discusses the thinking and actions of Arab leaders, the focus is overwhelmingly on the Israeli side. More detail on the Arab side would have made for an even more interesting book.
Among the more fascinating parts of the book:
1. The sheer volume of intelligence ignored by the Israeli defense and intelligence establishments prior to the war.
2. Ariel Sharon standing out not so much for his military daring but for being one of the few senior Israeli military leaders not initially paralyzed by the surprise and early success of the Arab invasion.
3. The role of Henry Kissinger who almost micro-managed the conflict to a draw to set the table for future peace negotiations.
4. The degree to which individual initiative at relatively low ranks in the Israeli Army helped Israel stem the tide until it was able to counterattack.
This book argues, convincingly, that the Yom Kippur War was actually the first step in the Egyptian-Israeli peace process. It is an important work in understanding the Middle East today.
Rabinovich is well known for his other work in the Jerusalem Post and he is an acknowledged expert on political and military affairs. But this book remains a tour de-force of epic proportions. Simply a very readable, extremely accessible and detailed account. Scholars of Israeli history as well as those looking for an epic military history book will enjoy this new volume. Anyone interested in the Arab-Israeli conflict and the modern geography of the middle east will find this book insightful.
Most recent customer reviews
Another fascinating account of Israel's survival against all odds. This account leaves out what was evident in accounts of other Israeli wars, namely a faith in the God of the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by RGSommer
A good read but as the author readily admits it is a VERY one sided account of an extremely complex event.Published 15 months ago by Paul Simpson
This an excellent account of the war, it iis well written and engrosPublished 18 months ago by Raymond Stuart
I've read and watched many books and documentaries on Israel's history and Wars. Abraham Rabinovich has done an amazing job with this book. Read morePublished on April 5 2004 by PDH