There are many books about Israel, but none like this. From Rich Cohen, the author of the acclaimed Tough Jews, The Avengers, and Sweet and Low, comes a new approach to a story we thought we knew. Breaking through the heated polemics and intractable politics, Israel Is Real is a fresh voice, a tale of people and ideas, of the background of present-day Israel.
Cohen relates Israel's story as that of a place long ago destroyed and transformed into an idea . . . and which, sixty years ago, was retransformed into a place, and therefore into something that can once again be destroyed. From the medieval false prophets, to the nineteenth-century Zionists, and on to present-day figures like Ariel Sharon, Cohen tells the stories of the people obsessed with this fine line between place and idea, creation and destruction. He reclaims from obscurity a multitude of figures marginalised by history, but whose lives are key to any real understanding of Israel.