Plowshares into Swords

Plowshares into Swords:From Zionism to Israel

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An eminent historian’s critical history of Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In this authoritative text, Arno J. Mayer traces the thinkers, leaders and shifting geopolitical contexts that shaped the founding and onward development of the Israeli state. He recovers for posterity internal critics such as the philosopher Martin Buber who argued for peaceful coexistence with the Palestinian Arabs. ‘A sense of limits is the better part of valour’, Mayer insists. Plowshares into Swords explores Israeli’s indefinite deferral of the ‘Arab Question’, the strategic thinking behind its settlement building and border walls, and the endurance of Palestinian resistance.


  • Sweeping and often illuminating

    Geoffrey WheatcroftNew Statesman
  • A seminal book - extremely challenging. The historical and political implications of the ‘Mayer thesis’ will be widely discussed in years to come - certainly not only by specialists

    Carlo Ginzburgfor The Persistence of the Old Regime
  • As fresh, challenging and thought-provoking in its conceptualization as it is thoroughly researched and brilliantly, stylishly and above all sensitively written. A masterly study

    The Nationfor Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?