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The Israelis
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About the Author

Donna Rosenthal is the author of the award-winning The Israelis Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land, new and updated in 2008. Called the best book about Israelis in decades, The Israelis has more than 100 excellent international reviews across the religious and political spectrums: from the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post to The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz to The Japan Times. Ms. Rosenthal was a news producer at Israel Television, reporter for Israel Radio and The Jerusalem Post, and a lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times Newsweek and The Atlantic and many other publications. Ms. Rosenthal has reported from Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan and was the first journalist to travel to remote mountain villages of Ethiopia and introduce Israel Radio audiences to the Jews of Ethiopia. A winner of three Lowell Thomas Journalism Awards: Best Investigative Reporting, Best Foreign Travel Reporting (The New York Times) and Best Adventure Travel Writing, she has reported from the Middle East, Asia and Africa and South America. An expert on contemporary Israelis, she frequently is interviewed on TV and radio about Israel--from CNN to ABC to National Public Radio. In a Publishers Weekly's national survey, Ms. Rosenthal placed in the TOP TEN most popular speakers about Israel--and only female author. She has spoken about modern Israelis at over 25 universities--from Harvard to UCLA to Georgetown. And to audiences from Silicon Valley to Japan and from Germany to Australia. Ms. Rosenthal has taught journalism at three universities. She holds a BA from University of California Berkeley (Political Science) and a Masters of Science (International Relations/Middle East) from The London School of Economics.

Reviews

Today's headlines leave the impression there's little to know about Israel outside of its conflict with the Palestinians. Using Hedrick Smith's landmark The Russians as a model, journalist Rosenthal, with years of experience in and knowledge of the Middle East, defies that notion, giving an in-depth look at the rich variety of people in the Jewish state. Relying on dozens of interviews, she gives a lively, variegated portrait of all facets of Israeli life. Terrorism and relations with the Palestinians are covered, but so are secular-religious tensions, Ashkenazi-Sephardi divisions, Israeli Arabs and Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia and Russia. Throughout, Rosenthal stresses the contradictions in Israel: a country steeped in historical and religious tradition that is trying to develop a high-tech economic future; a democracy that many see as favoring its Jewish citizens above its Arab ones; a country ruled in some ways by a rigid religious establishment that also maintains thriving gay and lesbian communities. Rosenthal displays prodigious reporting and allows the people themselves-whether Jewish or Arab, men or women, religious or secular-to speak, and their voices are alternately despairing and hopeful, defiant and conciliatory. As a result, she captures an entire country, one full of flux and drama, in as vivid and nuanced a way as possible: a former male model turns Orthodox; an Ethiopian who "had never used electricity... until he was twelve" now designs computers. With the huge interest in Israel among the reading public, this is likely to find a sizable audience. Agent, Bonnie Solow. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Intimate and vibrant. The only book I have ever seen that reveals the full human spectrum of Israel today." -- Daniel C. Matt, author of God & the Big Bang and The Essential Kabbalah
"A wonderful book: well researched, balanced, and a joy to read. It brings you a picture of Israel that only a superb journalist such as the author can expose. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time." -- Amir D. Aczel, author of Fermat's Last Theorem
"A panorama of Israeli diversity -- Ashkenazim and Sephardim, Orthodox and secular, Russians and Ethiopians, Arabs and Christians.... Thanks, Ms. Rosenthal!" -- Los Angeles Times
"Rosenthal captures an entire country, one full of flux and drama, in as vivid and nuanced a way as possible." -- Publishers Weekly
Martin E. Halstuk, Ph.D. professor of journalism, Pennsylvania State University, former reporter, San Francisco Chronicle Donna Rosenthal's sharp journalistic eye gives readers a rare book -- an objective and even-handed account of life in Israel today.
David Biale author of Eros and the Jews and editor of Cultures of the Jews: A New History Donna Rosenthal paints a colorful and compelling portrait of young Israelis nobody knows. We hear the personal stories of the crazy mix of people who live in this well-known but little-understood land. From an Ethiopian with dreadlocks and a kippa to a Muslim rapper to the Christian woman who edits an Arabic-language Cosmo. Anyone who wants to go far beyond the headlines will be wiser for having read this insightful book.

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