cover image The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza

The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza

Max Blumenthal. Nation, $25.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-56858-511-6

Blumenthal’s (Republican Gomorrah) latest is a heart-wrenching narrative of being caught in the middle of wartime. In July 2014, following the kidnapping and murder of Israeli citizens by two Palestinian men with ties to Hamas, Israel launched rocket strikes against the Gaza Strip for 51 days. Blumenthal, who was on the ground for part of the offensive, bore witness to the loss of life, shelter, and possessions—but never hope—among Gaza’s Palestinian residents. His experiences in Gaza shed valuable light on the miserable living conditions there, while also fueling Blumenthal’s rebuttal to defenses of the strikes as justifiable responses to terrorism. He portrays Israel’s response as vastly disproportionate, particularly emphasizing the toll on Palestinian economic development. While vividly recounting firsthand experience and interviews with Gaza residents, Blumenthal also carefully charts the ascension of the right wing in Israeli politics and offers a jaundiced eye on the maneuvers of the Israeli government. The result is a harrowing, transfixing narrative of a people’s ordeal that will provoke and challenge any reader more accustomed to pro-Israel perspectives. Agent: Anna Stein, Aitken Alexander Associates. (July)