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How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less…

How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Sarah Glidden

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2291750,561 (3.46)69
Title:How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less
Authors:Sarah Glidden
Info:Vertigo (2011), Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library

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How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden (2010)

  1. 52
    Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City by Guy Delisle (lorax)
    lorax: As "graphic novels about visiting Israel" the connection is obvious, but the benefits of reading both do go beyond that. Delisle's stay is considerably longer, but he sees less of the country, and more day-to-day life; Glidden's on a highly managed trip where she sees more of the tourist sites, but none of the settlements (where Delisle spends much of his time). They complement each other well.… (more)
  2. 00
    Siberiak: My Cold War Adventure on the River Ob by Jenny Jaeckel (cransell)

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22. How To Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden

A Birthright trip is an all-expenses paid trip to Israel for those who have a Jewish ancestor, and my understanding is that such trips are intended to make Americans of Jewish background more "friendly" to Israel.

This book, a graphic memoir, gave me a good understanding of what a Birthright trip is like. It conveys a brief sense of the problems faced by Israel, including the issue of its Palestinian population, but overall its consideration of the issues is rather superficial, possibly because a Birthright trip by its very conception will be somewhat one-sided in outlook. (Also because of its graphic memoir format I did not expect the book to delve too deeply into the difficult issues in the Mideast.) I recommend the book as a personal depiction of the Birthright experience, but not as a serious piece of journalism on Israel.

3 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Apr 8, 2016 |
It's complicated. ( )
  Gimley_Farb | Jul 6, 2015 |
What a weird book for me to read.

If not for Alaina, this wouldn't have even touched my radar.. at all. For starters, I'm not religious in the slightest so that alone is enough to turn me off of this book. Also, I have no fundamental knowledge of what's going on in Israel. Well, I know that there is what appears to be a conflict with no end in sight, but other than that - nothing.

Don't confuse my lack of knowledge with a lack of interest, however, as I've always been interested in "what's going on over there". When the topic comes up in any conversation (which trust me is rare), I usually refrain from giving an opinion in an effort to mask my ignorance. While I'm not a fairly political guy - and I'll be the first to proclaim my apathy towards international issues - I'd like to have some sort of basic understanding. So when this book was recommended (and combined with the attractive title), I gave it a shot.

Now, I don't want to give anyone the impression that after I put this down I declared myself an authority on all Palestinian/Israeli matters. If anything, I doubt I'll ever fully understand it. I can say that Glidden at least gave me an idea of what all this fighting is over and that's a whole lot better than what I knew before hand.

Her story is an interesting one and while at times I found her overly dramatic, I can't say that I can tell her how she should act in this kind of environment. I really respect that while she admitted to having a huge bias upon starting her journey, she ended without beating over your head who is "right" and who is "wrong".

Why the 3 stars? I guess because when you break down the star system, 3 stars translates into "I liked it". So while I thought the artwork was beautifully done, I can't see this really having an impact on me in the long term. ( )
  branimal | Apr 1, 2014 |
Yep! It's a graphic memoir and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When [[Sarah Glidden]] is granted a free trip to Israel by Birthright Israel, she spends a couple of months studying the country and the conflict attempting to develop a balanced perspective.

The trip for her is part educational tour by Birthright, and part personal tour as she makes arrangements to visit Israel on her own, as well as the Gaza Strip, as she moves from under the influence of Birthright. Glidden discovers differences between beliefs and perspectives in Birthright's tour guides as well as other people. Just when she thinks she has things figured out she receives new information that changes things. Her conclusion seems to be that this conflict is extremely complicated and she is unable to take a side. THAT of course, is part of her coming of age story.

For me, the main part of the memoir is Glidden's emotional struggle. That is often where graphic books shine for me - facial expressions, etc. Additionally, the beauty of Israel is very well painted in watercolor. I am new to graphic books; this is about the 6th one I have read. Recommended for those interested in Israel/Palestine conflict, perhaps as a beginning. ( )
1 vote mkboylan | Apr 9, 2013 |
This is a nice little graphic memoir and a decent primer for understanding the history of Israel and the conflict between Jews and Palestinians. It depicts the month-long "Birthright Tour" of 26-year old Sarah, a non-religious American Jew with pro-Palestinian beliefs. We accompany her on her travels around Israel, and we learn more about the complex and nuanced issues facing that region. Glidden also explores some of her internal strife and self-doubt as she comes to see that there are multiple perspectives and that her firmly held beliefs are not impervious to challenge. She also learns that she can feel close to someone, respect that someone, and hold an opposing perspective.

I'm glad I read this and I do recommend it. It dragged on a bit and Glidden's characters do not emerge from the page with as much richness as, say, those in Art Speigelman's Maus, but that's a high bar to set and I hope Glidden's work reaches an expanding audience. ( )
  EBT1002 | Jan 15, 2013 |
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"Glidden, a progressive American Jew who is sharply critical of Israeli policies vis-á-vis the Occupied Territories, went on an all-expense-paid 'birthright' trip to Israel in an attempt to discover some grand truths at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This graphic memoir tells the touching and often funny story of her utter failure to do so."--Amazon.com.… (more)

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