The Volunteer: The Incredible True Story of an Israeli Spy on the Trail of International Terrorists

Michael Ross, Author, Jonathan Kay, With . Skyhorse $24.95 (294p) ISBN 978-1-60239-132-1

It's not surprising for an ex-spy to have an uncomplicated, us-them worldview. Accordingly, Ross, former member of the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, allows for little nuance in this memoir, which maintains a nearly colonialist view of the Muslim world, positing Israel as “a microcosm of the civilized world's struggle against a murderous ideology” and drawing unsupported parallels between Palestinian nationalist Islamism and al-Qaeda's world-spanning nihilism. Canadian-born Ross is clearly proud of his service to his adopted homeland and accepts Israel's view of its place in the Middle East. He discusses Arab torture without mention of its Israeli (or Western) counterpart and claims Israel has “given” the Palestinians a state, though Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands remains intact. When describing his operations, Ross's tone is engaging, and details of spycraft remind readers that real spies don't live in movies—“everyone,” for instance, “talks when tortured.” Readers looking for such tales will be better served than those looking for a cogent analysis of the region. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 296 pages - 978-0-7710-7777-7
Open Ebook - 305 pages - 978-1-4416-9867-4
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