Posted: 05 Mar 2013 04:59 PM PST
Jonathan Strawn reviewed:Jerusalem 1913: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
A disappointment in every way, even in the narrator,
This review is from: Jerusalem 1913: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (MP3 CD)I picked this up because the premise intrigued me: what if there was a moment, a turn in history, when things could have gone another way and there could have been peace in the Middle East? What if that peace was just another causality of World War 1, run into the sand and blood by Balkan separatists, marauding Turks and Lawrence of Arabia.
Sadly, you won't find that here. I'll save you the trouble: Marcus' argument, such as it is, that there was a chance for peace, as long as Jews, Arabs and others could learn to be good Ottomans. Peace was possible, under the iron fist of the Turk. That troublesome thing known as liberation and independence ruined all that.
It doesn't help that the writing is awful, being more interested in romantic musings about life in late 19th and early 20th century Jerusalem then actually about substance. We get interminable descriptions of how cluttered someone's study is, or what they kind of tea they preferred.
Compounding the poor writing is the awful audiobook reader, who reads like a condescending mother addressing her ignorant children. Joyce Bean also reads like she has never read english before, or even glanced at the words being presented before her to verbalize. When she mis-pronounced sepulchre, I gave it a pass because that is an unusual word, even if it is one you would think the reader of a book about Jerusalem might know. When she mis-pronounces "short lived"(saying "live" as in "livestock") I turned off the book. That was it.
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