One of Financial Times' Best History Books of 2023
"Pacy and enthralling." —Financial Times
"Impressive...an excellent work of history." —Commentary
"Tells the story brilliantly." —Senator Joseph I. Lieberman
"Stimulating and insightful...will no doubt find a permanent place on the Arab-Israeli bookshelf." —Michael Oren, New York Times bestselling author of Six Days of War
October 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, a conflict that shaped the modern Middle East. The War was a trauma for Israel, a dangerous superpower showdown, and, following the oil embargo, a pivotal reordering of the global economic order. The Jewish State came shockingly close to defeat. A panicky cabinet meeting debated the use of nuclear weapons. After the war, Prime Minister Golda Meir resigned in disgrace, and a 9/11-style commission investigated the “debacle.”
But, argues Uri Kaufman, from the perspective of a half century, the War can be seen as a pivotal victory for Israel. After nearly being routed, the Israeli Defense Force clawed its way back to threaten Cairo and Damascus. In the war’s aftermath both sides had to accept unwelcome truths: Israel could no longer take military superiority for granted—but the Arabs could no longer hope to wipe Israel off the map. A straight line leads from the battlefields of 1973 to the Camp David Accords of 1978 and all the treaties since. Like Michael Oren’s Six Days of War, this is the definitive account of a critical moment in history.
About the Author
A graduate of New York University School of Law, Uri Kaufman is an award-winning real estate developer, specializing in adaptively restoring historic buildings. He has worked on this book for over twenty years, visiting the battlefields, speaking to participants and reviewing literally thousands of pages of material. He lives with his family in Lawrence, New York.
A Daily KOS pick for New and Notable Nonfiction
“Informed … a balanced and blunt assessment of Israel’s military leaders.”
—The Jerusalem Post
"A valuable addition to the literature. … Engaging, evenhanded account of a major Middle East conflict that still resonates today.”
"A lucid recounting of military engagements... a well-paced and informative account of a consequential conflict."
“Well written and engrossing.”
"Kaufman argues in this comprehensive account of the war, that far from being a demoralizing military campaign, the conflict was a turning point in Israel’s relationship with the Arab world."
—Atlanta Jewish Book Review
"[Kaufman] tells the story brilliantly. Anyone interested in the Middle East or military history will appreciate Kaufman’s work."
—Senator Joseph I. Lieberman
"Stimulating and insightful...will no doubt find a permanent place on the Arab-Israeli bookshelf."
—Michael Oren, New York Times bestselling author of Six Days of War
"A valuable and essential read."
—Ambassador Danny Danon, Israel's 17th Permanent Representative to the United Nations
"To understand modern Israel, this is a book worth reading."
—Yaakov Katz, editor of The Jerusalem Post and author of Shadow Strike
"The Yom Kippur War was the event that made the modern Middle East. At last, a book has been written that tells this fascinating story in a way that reveals the decision making, strategy and heroism of those that fought it."
—Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz, wounded officer and veteran of the Yom Kippur War, former Member of Knesset and top aide to Ariel Sharon
"Utilizing a vast store of original research, including declassified documents from several archives, Kaufman’s portrait of the war is a staggering story of Israeli official incompetence that was eventually overcome by the steady nerves of a few leaders, including Meir, but mostly the heroism of the rank-and-file officers and soldiers of the IDF." —Jewish News Syndicate