A History of the Israeli Army eBook cover 6-9 $9.99 on Kindle, Nook, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play

A History of the Israeli Army: 1874 to the Present by Ze’ev Schiff (108,000 words and 28 illustrations)

“It is virtually impossible to understand Israel or the Middle East without understanding Israel’s military history and its security needs. There are many books that attempt to provide such a history, but Ze’ev Schiff’s concise
History of the Israeli Army is unquestionably the most successful... he writes with great objectivity and probes issues that most Israeli military writers prefer to dodge... Mr. Schiff’s ability to come to grips with the fact that both Israel and the Arab states bordering it used tactics the other side regards as terrorism, and continue to use them, is matched by his skill in summarizing the causes, course and outcome of the large-scale Arab-Israeli conflicts in 1956, 1967 and 1973 and the war of attrition in 1969-70. Mr. Schiff provides an excellent summary of the political and military forces that shaped Israel’s behavior in each war. He neither justifies nor excuses Israel’s behavior, and he does not justify or excuse Israel’s motives and goals — he is content to explain them. He also explains the factors that shaped Arab behavior and gives the causes of Arab defeats without editorializing... Mr. Schiff avoids technical issues, tactics and the details of battles; he focuses on the main flow of events. He provides a short history of the major events shaping Israel’s military forces and strategy before and during each war. His descriptions of military events flow naturally out of his accounts of political motives and strategy. His chapter on doctrine ties together the histories of the different conflicts, and it should be read by anyone who feels Israel somehow has caused most of its wars... His chapter on the 1982 war in Lebanon is the most incisive reporting yet done on that event, a model of how good defense reporting can be when it looks beyond the day-to-day flow of events and searches out the underlying pattern of military conflict and its causes. Mr. Schiff presents the war as one in which Mr. Sharon, then Israel’s Minister of Defense, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory... Mr. Schiff’s treatment of Mr. Sharon and the P.L.O.’s high command is devastating; it adds up to one of the best arguments against violence as a solution to the problems of the Middle East ever written... In short, Mr. Schiff has written a history that any historian or political or military analyst must envy.” — Anthony H. Cordesman, The New York Times

“[A] story concisely and clearly told. Schiff’s ability to deal with Israeli military matters accurately and analytically... is in evidence as usual... This is a good introduction to the subject and well written.” — Michael Collins Dunn,
Middle East Journal

“[I]f one does not have a basic book on the Israeli Army, this is one of the best.” — Jeffrey Greenhut,
Military Affairs