Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story

Matti Friedman. Algonquin, $25.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-61620-458-7
Friedman, an Israeli journalist and writer, recounts the history of a hilltop bunker in southern Lebanon that was held by the Israeli army during the 1990s, beginning with the biography of a young soldier stationed there and transitioning into a memoir of his own time on the hill and his post-war visit as a tourist. Friedman’s personal reflections alternate with a history of Israel’s conflict in Lebanon, which he refers to as an unnamed and forgotten war, as he covers civilian sentiment, political responses to war and protest, and military strategy through the period. Though short, the book is remarkably educational and heartfelt: Friedman’s experiences provide a critical historical perspective on the changing climate of war in the Middle East, shifting from short official conflicts into longer unwinnable wars full of guerilla tactics and the deliberate creation of media narratives and images. His lyrical writing, attention to detail, and personal honesty draw the reader into empathy along with understanding. Friedman’s memoir deserves wide readership. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/21/2016
Release date: 05/03/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-62231-992-3
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-7710-3690-3
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-7710-3692-7
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-61620-691-8
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-61620-608-6
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