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Synopsis

“Eloquent, humane, even religious in the deepest sense, Oz emerges here . . . as a kind of Zionist Orwell: a complex man obsessed with simple decency and determined above all to tell the truth, regardless of whom it offends.” — Newsweek

Notebook in hand, Amos Oz traveled throughout Israel and the West Bank in the early 1980s to talk with workers, soldiers, religious zealots, aging pioneers, new immigrants, desperate Arabs, young fanatics, dreamers, and visionaries. He asked them where Israel had come from, what the present held, and where it was headed. What he heard is memorably set down here in those distinctive voices, alongside Oz’s keen descriptions, observations, and reflections. Oz tells the truth as he sees it and as others see it, with courage and brutal frankness.

The author’s journey has, deservedly, become a classic insider’s view of a land whose complex past and often troubled present make for an uncertain future.

“Oz’s vignettes . . . wondrously re-create whole worlds with an economy of words.” — Philadelphia Inquirer

“An exemplary instance of a writer using his craft to come to grips with what is happening politically and to illuminate certain aspects of Israeli society that have generally been concealed by polemical formulas.” — New York Times

Translated by Maurie Goldberg-Bartura

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