An Innocent Bystander

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

The book does an excellent job of talking about how average people are caught up in an international incident that involves a centuries-old battle being played out between nations. The author does fall back on contemporary tropes of America as Cowboy, Israel as Aggressor and Palestinians as roguish Freedom Fighters. This depiction will appeal to some readers and put off others as being trite. Having lived through the era myself, I find the personal accounts the most compelling.
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This is a thoroughly researched, well written look at a piece of modern history which is easily forgotten but goes to the heart of a decades long struggle between Israel and the Palestinians.  The story of Leon Klinghoffer is once which has resonated with many (there has even been an opera written and performed about it) and this book, will illuminate the background and the story for a wider audience.
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I have been a big fan of Julie Salamon's previous books, especially "Hospital" and her biography of Wendy Wasserstein, but I was completely blown away by this new one.  Although I remember reading about this incident in the newspapers and seeing it on tv, by reading "An Innocent bystander" I felt as if I was actually there, being part of the action and intimately learning about the people involved and their motivations .  A big kudo to Julie Salamon for her meticulous research and brilliant writing.
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