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Washington Times Review of Path to Paradise

EVD's picture


I was curious to see what the reviews of Path to Paradise were like so I searched a little bit online to find some. Most of the reviews I found were very positive (because most of the ones I found were on sites trying to endorse sale of the book) but one I found particularly interesting was a Washington Times review:

"Anat Berko's The Path to Paradise: The Inner World of Suicide Bombers and Their Dispatchers is one of the most revealing, compelling and insightful books written about Palestinian suicide bombers and the men who dispatch them on their missions. What distinguishes this book is the author's unique access to Palestinian prisoners who "failed" to carry out their suicide bombings or were arrested for organizing terrorist operations. This has enabled her to "open a window" into the inner world of these men and women....The book contains a wealth of information about Palestinian society, such as the impact of polygamous families and arranged marriages on the sons and daughters who decide to become suicide martyrs. The Path to Paradise is essential reading for understanding Palestinian suicide terrorism and the measures required to resolve it."

The part I found most interesting was the last sentence which says that the book is "essential" for understanding how to "resolve" Palestinian suicide terrorism. I agree that the book is very insightful but I really felt like it didn't at all suggest a method for improving relations in the Middle East (like we discussed in class).  To me, the book suggested that recruitment of suicide bombers involves so much more than religious and political pressure. I think that Berko's interviews showed that the measures required to resolve this conflict do not necessarily involve the individual but rather the system which takes advantage of the individual...I didn't find that she was trying to convey methods to resolve the conflict as a whole.



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