The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East by David Hirst
More than a decade before Israel's New Historians revolutionized the study of Israeli history, English journalist David Hirst wrote The Gun and the Olive Branch, a classic, myth-breaking general history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hirst, a former Middle East correspondent for the Guardian, traces the origins of the terrible conflict back to the 1880s to show how Arab violence, although often cruel and fanatical, is a response to the challenge of repeated aggression. The Gun and the Olive Branch is an absorbing, potentially controversial history of the Middle Eastern conflict that is indispensable to anyone with an interest in world politics and by partisans of both sides. This classic and controversial account of the origins of the Middle East conflict returns to print updated with a lengthy introduction that reflects on the course of recent Middle Eastern history—especially the abortive Israeli-Palestinian peace process and 9/11.