1948: a history of the first Arab-Israeli war New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press, c 2008 Benny Morris Palestine History, Military 20th century Hardcover. xiv, 524 p.,  p. of plates: ill., maps; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 421-505) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
This history of the foundational war in the Arab-Israeli conflict is deeply revisionist. An account of the military engagements, it also focuses on the war’s political dimensions. Benny Morris probes the motives and aims of the protagonists on the basis of newly opened Israeli and Western documentation. The Arab side — where the archives are still closed — is illuminated with the help of intelligence and diplomatic materials and therein lies the chief weakness of the book since it gives the impression that the one side is fact and the other is conjecture.
Morris ignores the defensive character of the two-stage Arab assault on the Jewish community in Palestine. Throughout, he examines the dialectic between the war’s military and political developments and highlights the military impetus in the creation of the refugee problem, which was a by-product of the disintegration of Palestinian Arab society.
The book thoroughly investigates the role of the Great Powers — Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union — in shaping the conflict and its tentative termination in 1949. Morris looks both at high politics and general staff decision-making processes and at the nitty-gritty of combat in the successive battles that resulted in the emergence of the Jewish state in Israel and the humiliation of the Arab world, a humiliation that contributes to the continued Arab antagonism toward Israel.