Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oranges and Lemons

I wasn't going to blog this one, so as not to overdo the Israel topic, but its similarity to "The Lemon Tree" warrants attention for someone interested in understanding Israel's 20th century history. " City of Oranges" by Adam LeBor also chooses one area, in this case the vibrant historic city of Jaffa, and follows a number of resident families through the tumultuous events there from the 1920's to the present.

Two of the families are Christian, two are Muslim, and four are Jewish. Some left in 1948, some stayed, some arrived afterward. All suffered. It was a challenge keeping everyone straight, but it hardly mattered: they express themselves very clearly.

As in "The Lemon Tree", an enormous amount of detail about political changes throughout Israel and the rest of the Middle East anchors the personal stories. I'd recommend "Oranges" over "Lemon" as a more comprehensive view of the subject.

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