Praise for Anonymous Soldiers:
"A gripping narrative history . . . Its major contribution is to demonstrate that the Irgun-led insurgency played a larger role in paving the way for Israel s founding than we previously believed . . . A pathbreaking book. Michael Doran, The Wall Street Journal
Riveting and deeply researched . . . Something remarkable . . . Hoffman excels at describing the complex internal politics of the terrorists, the Yishuv, and the British administration, which were constantly evolving . . .Extensive detail . . . Anonymous Soldiersdoes a wonderful job of elucidating this enormously complex and important period in Jewish history. Adam Kirsch, Tablet
Riveting . . . Terrorism may work, as Hoffman suggesting in this thought-provoking book . . . Hoffman writes skillfully. Tom Segev, The New York Times Book Review
A magisterial history that is indispensable to anyone wishing to understand how and why the State of Israel came into existence More than most insurgent groups in history, the anonymous soldiers of Hoffman s history left behind a legacy of accomplishment, as well as of terror a conclusion as remarkable as the story that he has told so well. Eliot A. Cohen, Foreign Affairs
Gripping detail . . . Anonymous Soldiers can be seen as a corrective to the understatements and misstatements about the role of the Revisionist movement in the history of Zionism and, especially, the creation and defense of the Jewish state . . . An even-handed work of history that is, at the same time, a morally illuminating and challenging. Jonathan Kirsch, Jewish Journal
[Bruce Hoffman] presents a detailed chronicle of the guerrilla war waged by the Irgun, the Stern gang (also known as Lehi) and occasionally the Haganah against the British authorities . . . A valuable contribution . . . Hoffman is the first scholar of the subject to fully utilize the many thousands of British intelligence documents from the 1940s that have been declassified in recent years . . . Revealing. Rafael Medoff, Haaretz
"An authoritative, sweeping, important history that shows how terrorism 'is neither irrational nor desperate but instead entirely rational and often carefully calculated and choreographed.'" Kirkus (starred review)
Drawing on prodigious research and employing fine narrative pacing, Hoffman has produced a first-rate work on the endgame in the Zionist struggle to establish a Jewish state. Publishers Weekly (starred)
Well-sourced, exhaustive . . . Those interested in the Arab-Israeli conflict will want this book in their library. Hoffman has written it without using the kind of accusatory language that often is the hallmark of such books . . . Written in an interesting style, and richly footnoted based on the author s access to declassified British, Israeli and American documents. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Terror works at least sometimes and there is no better proof than the success of the Israeli underground during the British Mandate in Palestine. InAnonymous Soldiers, Bruce Hoffman, the dean of counterterrorist scholars, explores the history and methods that would become the template for terrorist movements of the present day. This book will become a classic on the shelf of those who seek to understand and fight against non-state actors, who were themselves inspired by the Israeli example. Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower and Thirteen Days in September
This is the most important book for years on the prehistory of the state of Israel. Based to a large extent sources not tapped hitherto. At the same time it is an invaluable contribution to the history of political violence and counterterrorism, shedding new light on conditions in which terrorism succeeds and when it fails." Walter Laqueur, author of A History of Zionism
Anonymous Soldiers is the best comprehensive study of the Jewish extremists' terror\guerrilla campaign against the British in Palestine in the years 1939-1947. It is also a fine case study of a modern insurgency and counter-insurgency, with lessons for all students of terrorist\urban guerrilla wars around the globe. Hoffman is properly mindful of what motivated both the Jews and the British and of the decision-making processes at each turn in the bloody saga. And it is based on a very thorough trawl through the British and American archives, making it a lasting contribution to the historiography of British Mandate Palestine. Henceforward, few will be able to avoid the conclusion that the extremists' bloodletting was a primary cause of Britain's decision to leave, indeed, abandon, Palestine. Benny Morris, author of Righteous Victims
This is Bruce Hoffman s magnum opus. Hoffman asks an uncomfortable question: Does terrorism work? And he provides an uncomfortableanswer in this deeplyresearched account ofthe Jewish terrorists who forced the British out of Palestine: Sometimes it does. Hoffman brings greatanalytic rigor to ahistory that is based on a deep dive into the relevant archives, many of which werehithertosecret and have been recentlydeclassified. This is thedefinitive accountof one of the key factors inthe formation of Israel. Peter Bergen, author ofManhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad
Hoffman, who has studied and written extensively on terrorism in the Middle East, asserts that terrorist activities by the Jewish underground played an essential role in forcing Britain to abandon its mandate in Palestine, leading to the establishment of Israel in 1947. . . Well-researched and highly detailed . . . Thorough and well argued . . . [With] important implications. Jay Freeman, Booklist
[An] exhaustive detailed history of British Mandate Palestine . . . A must read for anyone interested in the origins of the State of Israel. Joel Neuberg, Library Journal"
A landmark history, based on newly available documents, of the battles between Jews, Arabs, and the British that led to the creation of Israel
Anonymous Soldiers brilliantly re-creates the crucial period in the establishment of Israel, chronicling the three decades of growing anticolonial unrest that culminated in the end of British rule and the UN resolution to create two separate states. This groundbreaking book tells in riveting, previously unknown detail the story of how Britain, in the twilight of empire, struggled and ultimately failed to reconcile competing Arab and Jewish demands and uprisings. Bruce Hoffman, America s leading expert on terrorism, shines new light on the bombing of the King David Hotel, the assassination of Lord Moyne in Cairo, the leadership of Menachem Begin, the life and death of Abraham Stern, and much else. Above all, Hoffman shows exactly how the underdog anonymous soldiers of Irgun and Lehi defeated the British and set in motion the chain of events that resulted in the creation of the formidable nation-state of Israel.
This is a towering accomplishment of research and narrative, and a book that is essential to anyone wishing to understand not just the origins of modern-day Israel or the current situation in the Middle East, but also the methodology of terrorism. Drawing on previously untapped archival resources in London, Washington, D.C., and Jerusalem, Bruce Hoffman has written one of the most detailed and sustained accounts of a terrorist and counterterrorist campaign that may ever have been seen, and in doing so has cast light on one of the most decisive world events in recent history. This will be the definitive account of the struggle for Israel for years to come.
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