Worth Reading (Fiction)

  • Mamet, David: Chicago: A Novel
    In Roaring 20's Chicago, a Great War veteran turned hard-boiled reporter falls in love with the wrong woman and then seeks to find her killer.
  • Nelson DeMille: The Cuban Affair: A Novel
    Two million dollars to charter a boat for a fishing tournament? A great way for the owner to pay off the boat's mortgage, but it turns out to include slipping into Castro's prison island in search of a lost (and perhaps imaginary) treasure.
  • Kate Atkinson: Life After Life: A Novel
    Ursula Todd has the opportunity to relive her life, over and over and over, moving steadily through the Great War and its sequels and accumulating shards of memory.
  • Connie Willis: Crosstalk: A Novel
    An empathy app leads to complications involving telepathy, Irish women and a true love that runs most unsmoothly. Classic Willis comedy.
  • Mark Steyn: The Prisoner of Windsor
    In a 21st Century sequel to Anthony Hope, the heir to the Ruritanian throne must fill in for the kidnaped Prime Minister of Great Britain.
  • Tim Powers: My Brother's Keeper
    Werewolves, the Brontë sisters, their wayward brother, their heroic dog and a conspiracy to unleash an almost dead deity.
  • Tim Powers: Declare: A Novel
    An intricate Cold War fantasy that seems so plausible that one wonders whether it is the true story of why the Soviet Union rose and collapsed.
  • H.F.M. Prescott: The Man on a Donkey
    Set during the Pilgrimage of Grace, this is the rare historical novel that captures the mindset of the actors. The hero, Robert Aske, was martyred in a way that makes burning at the stake look merciful.
  • Theodore Odrach: Wave of Terror
    Based on the author's experiences when the Soviet Union occupied his homeland after the Stalin-Hitler Pact, this book melds Chekov and Solzhenitsyn. By stages, the isolated folk of the Pripyet Marshes learn that there are worse masters than their former Polish overlords.
  • Simon Montefiore: Sashenka: A Novel
    Both grim and funny, this historical novel peers into the inner world of an upper class Russian girl turned loyal Bolshevik, highlighting her youthful fling at revolution-making in Petrograd, her fall from grace under Stalin, and an historian's effort, after the end of communism, to ascertain her fate.
  • Harry Turtledove: The Man with the Iron Heart
    Can the U.S. maintain its resolve against a defeated enemy's terrorist campaign? Imagining a post-World War II Nazi insurgency, Harry Turtledove puts this question into a new context. As Reinhard von Heydrich's "werewolves" devastate Germany, war-weary Americans call for withdrawal, regardless of the consequences.
  • Neal Stephenson: Anathem
    If you have not a smidgen of interest in how Platonic philosophy relates to the "many worlds" version of quantum mechanics, you still may like this novel, though you'll probably wish that the characters talked less. Persevere. After a slow start, the story grows compelling, and the intellectual dialogues turn out not to be digressions.
  • Alfred Duggan: Lord Geoffrey's Fancy
    Perhaps the finest book of one of England's finest historical novelists. The setting is 13th Century Greece, where Crusaders fought each other and the shattered Byzantine Empire. The history is accurate, the writing graceful and the characters not merely modern people in fancy dress.
  • Rodney Bolt: History Play : The Lives and Afterlife of Christopher Marlowe
    A pseudo-history springing from the premise that Shakespeare's flashy predecessor survived the famous Deptford brawl and fled to the continent, where he secretly wrote almost all of the Bard's works. A clever, tongue-in-cheek reworking of literary history that also recreates the milieu shared by many real Elizabethan exiles.
  • Charles W. Chesnutt: Stories, Novels, and Essays (Library of America, 131)
    Fiction and essays by a black American writer who deserves a wider audience.
  • Harry Turtledove: Gunpowder Empire
    Debut of a juvenile series set in parallel worlds. 22nd century teen siblings, trapped without adult aid in a besieged city, must cope with the bizarre (to them) customs and prejudices of a never-fallen Roman Empire.
Blog powered by Typepad

« If the Policy Is Right, Does the Rhetoric Matter? | Main | Selling Peace to the Moslems »

Sunday, May 24, 2009


http://www.slate.com/id/2220733/ Dear Mr.Veal,May I recommend this article to you?It offers what I believe to be a less dangerous course of action. Zionism has many streams;the one you champion(?) leads,in my opinion, to disaster for the state of Israel,With respect.Rick Ficek

"The PA imposes the death penalty on any Palestinian who sells land to a Jew"

"Sheikh Tamimi [your citation]. . . said that the ban was necessary to counter the Israeli government's efforts to change the Arab and Islamic culture of Jerusalem by expelling its Arab residents and turning it into a Jewish city."

Obviously, this debate cannot be maintained without context. In my view, you continue to frame all of your opinions on this issue from a single minded perspective. The Palestinians, on the other hand, often frame their side of the argument as defensive, a point of view that you appear to disdain.

So, let us go back to your original question: Must Palestine be "free" of Jews? Historically this has never been the case. Why, I wonder, has this become a consideration for the present?


Peter Hodges sent the following response, which for unknown reasons he wasn’t able to post as a comment:

It is not a question of whether or not Jews can live in Palestine. It is a question of sovereignty.
Let us suppose that the occupied territory that is Palestine is released from occupation. Must the Jews then depart? Not, I suggest, if they accept Palestinian sovereignty. Is this not what Palestinians must do when living in Israel?
Why isn't what is good for the goose good for the gander?
Mr Veal never offers this proposal. Instead, he characterizes what, from the Palestinian point of view is the Israeli land grab, in quaint Israeli partisan terms, ie: family expansion. I say, let the Jews who want to live in Palestine pay for their land and live under Palestinian rule, the same way they live in Brooklyn under US rule.
Meanwhile, Israel can remain safe for those who want to live in the homeland. What's wrong with that?

Me: The proposal that “Jews who want to live in Palestine pay for their land and live under Palestinian rule” is what the Palestinian Authority rejects. The PA imposes the death penalty on any Palestinian who sells land to a Jew, and it has unwaveringly insisted that the future Palestinian state must (like most of the Arab world) have no Jewish inhabitants whatsoever.

Guess we can take that as a "yes", then.

"make it possible for settlers’ children to set up their own households when they reach adulthood."

Putting aside the question of why it is so inconceivable that these second generation “settlers” cannot find other ground on which to raise their families, I find it extremely disingenuous that you attempt to frame the discussion in such benign terms. From the Palestinian perspective, the settlements are very simply a land grab. For you to assert that they are merely attempting to provide for natural growth is sophistry of the lowest order.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Books by Tom Veal

Worth Reading (Non-Fiction)