Newly updated, an accessible chronicle of how the Israel-Palestine conflict originated and developed over the past century. The Shortest History books deliver thousands of years of history in one riveting, fast-paced read.
The ongoing struggle between Israel and Palestine is one of the most bitter conflicts in history, with profound global consequences. In this book, Middle East expert Michael Scott-Baumann succinctly describes its origins and charts its evolution from civil war to the present day. Each chapter offers a lucid explanation of the politics and ends with personal testimony from Palestinians and Israelis whose lives have been overshadowed by violence.
While presenting competing interpretations, Scott-Baumann examines key flash points including the early role of the British, the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the Six-Day War of 1967, the Trump administration’s 2020 peace plan, and the war ignited by Hamas’s surprise attacks on Israel in 2023. He delineates both the nature of Israeli control over the Palestinian territories and Palestinian resistance—going to the heart of recent clashes. The result is an indispensable history, including a time line, glossary, and analysis of why efforts to restore peace have continually failed—at immense human cost on both sides of the conflict—and what it will take to succeed.
About the Author
Michael Scott-Baumann is a graduate of Cambridge University and has an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He has 35 years’ experience as a history teacher and lecturer. He has traveled widely in the Middle East and worked as a volunteer under the auspices of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, with whom he conducted field work on the West Bank. He lives in Cheltenham, England.
“This book is both necessary and accessible. So many people are mystified by this never-ending Middle East conflict. Here at last is a concise and readable account of a fundamental international issue of our time, one that has implications far beyond the region where it is set.”—Jon Snow, presenter of Channel 4 News (UK)
“A masterpiece of clarity, concision and balance.”—Professor Adam Sutcliffe, King’s College London
“A valuable read in that it humanizes the Palestinian struggle side by side with the Israeli need for security.”—Alberta Jewish News
“The complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [are] easy to understand in this clear, straightforward, and unemotional history.”—John McHugo, author of A Concise History of the Arabs
“A complete history exploring the conflict between Israel and Palestine in just a few hundred pages. . . . A useful reference.”—School Library Journal