Books to Read: Defending Israel and Black Garden

Defending Israel by Martin Van Crevald Although I remain behind on some of the other books I planned to read and review, my course work and research requires that I forge ahead with yet a few more.

This week I’ll be tackling two books.  The first, Martin Van Crevald’s Defending Israel: A Strategic Plan for Peace and Security is a piece in which this renowned civilian military expert argues from a realist orientation that the only way to secure peace for Israel is for it to completely withdraw to its pre-1967 borders.  Black Garden by Thomas de Waal

The second, Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan through Peace and War by Thomas de Waal is my first formal academic literature introduction to the case of Armenia and the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

I also hope to get through a short transcription of conference proceedings put out by the American Council for Kosovo on the Serbian perspective with regard to Kosovar Albanian independence.  With any luck, I’ll be able to write short reviews of these books as I finish them.  Look for them in the next week or so.

7 Responses to Books to Read: Defending Israel and Black Garden

  1. > first formal academic literature

    It has nothing to do with academia, unfortunately. Important facts are missed, chronology of the story twisted (e.g. he talks first about Armenian attacks, then 10 pages later gets half-year back to tell about the reasons of that attacks.)

    Also, it contains facts that never happenned, quoting some anonymous sources. Plus, the way he works with known sources is strange to say the least.

  2. arielzellman says:

    Hi Karen,
    I would be very interested to read some substantive critiques of de Waal’s book. As far as I know there is very little written in English about Nagorno-Karabakh. Having not yet been there myself, I’d very much like to get my hands on whatever sources are out there. Any suggestions? Thanks for your comment!

  3. Hello. Sorry for a very late response: I have been long forgotten about this page and run into it again while searching for something else on Google 🙂

    Here is a book, that presents the Armenian point of view:

    I don’t want to say that it is good because it’s edited by an Armenian scholar, but at least you can get the Armenian side of the story too 🙂

    As for the roots of the conflict I recommend reading a travelogue by an Italian author Luigi Villari, who traveled through that region in 1905: Fire and Sword in the Caucasus

  4. arielzellman says:

    Hi Karen,
    thanks for your reply. I’ll check out both books right away. Is there any chance you know of somewhere the first one is available for less than $150? On a student’s budget, that’s a bit steep.

  5. Hi Ariel,

    you may want to try your university library: even if they don’t have in their collection, they can request a library exchange. Also, JStor or similar services may offer an electronic version of it. Universities like yours usually have access to such electronic libraries.

  6. LOL, I posted another late reply then saw its cover in the “Books I’m reading” section :)))))

  7. arielzellman says:

    Hi Karen,
    I ended up finding a copy of the book in the university library and just finished it up a few days ago. I will be posting a review hopefully within the next few days. Thank you so much for your recommendation and any other materials you can think of would be incredibly helpful. Happy New Year.

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