A review of "Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict", Third Edition, by Charles D. Smith (St. Martin's Press, 1988, 1996), 308. Review by Dr. Paul-Thomas Ferguson. In this review, Dr. Ferguson summarizes the content of the book and analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the author's arguments.
The duty of the historian is, as accurately as possible, to explain and interpret the events of the past. It is hoped that such interpretations, invariably countered by the differing views of other historians, will contribute to the overall fabric of historical analysis. The goal of the historian is to proceed in an unbiased fashion, or, where there is bias, to state for the record how experiences and beliefs may have guided their perspective. A sense of unbiased detachment is often more difficult to master when conveying material which seems more in the realm of current events than history, as events in one's own lifetime make the strongest impact upon the psyche. In addition, researchers often find that current events are muddied by large amounts of journalistic coverage, while primary documents are often not yet available. Such is the case with the issues surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Since the creation of Israel in 1948, there have been many books, articles, and dissertations about the Arab-Israeli conflict. Often, they have carried their research up to the ...
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