A Serviceable Middle East Dictionary
A review of Historical Dictionary of the Arab-Israeli Conflict by PR Kumaraswamy, The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2006, 424 pages, $99
By Mitchell Bard
In today's Internet age, few people seem to rely much on reference books anymore; nevertheless, they are often handier and more comprehensive and accurate than much of what is found online. PR Kumaraswamy has written exactly the type of handy reference that students and others interested in the Middle East will find useful. After a brief overview of the history of the conflict, the book offers a very extensive alphabetical listing of key terms, people and events related to the conflict. Kumaraswamy, a professor of international studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, is one of the rare non-Jews to teach about Israel, and to do so in a balanced manner. Not surprisingly, the book also fairly covers the good, the bad and the ugly of the Arab-Israeli conflict.