The Iron Wall

Israel and the Arab World

Avi Shlaim (Author, Oxford University)


“Fascinating. . . . Shlaim presents compelling evidence for a revaluation of traditional Israeli history.”—New York Times Book Review

For this newly expanded edition, Avi Shlaim has added four chapters and an epilogue that address the prime ministerships from Barak to Netanyahu in the “one book everyone should read for a concise history of Israel’s relations with Arabs” (Independent). What was promulgated as an “iron-wall” strategy—building a position of unassailable strength— was meant to yield to a further stage where Israel would be strong enough to negotiate a satisfactory peace with its neighbors. The goal still remains elusive, if not even further away. This penetrating study brilliantly illuminates past progress and future prospects for peace in the Middle East.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • October 2014
  • ISBN 978-0-393-34686-2
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 960 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Endorsements & Reviews

“Shlaim’s usual appreciation for complexities and contradictions and his keen sketches of the principal Israeli actors make this very readable book one of the best and most illuminating accounts of Arab-Israeli relations in years.” — Yaron Ezrahi, Foreign Affairs

“A powerful overview of 50 years of policy.” — Milton Viorst, Washington Post

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