Sword & Shield Of Zion: The Israeli Air Force in the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1948-2012, by David Rodman
Given my own interests in both military history as well as the Middle East (and Israel in particular), I was pleased to be able to request this particular book from H-Net to review for them (this is one of two books I got from them simultaneously to review, my fourth and fifth books from them overall). As a slim book (including the index it only runs slightly over 150 pages), it promises to be a fairly short read but hopefully a very worthwhile and interesting one. Given the fact that I have previously reviewed books that deal specifically with the role of air forces in recent foreign conflicts , this book promises to provide a bit of context and wider reading in an area of interest.
A quick perusal of the book’s preface and table of contents indicates that the book is going to deal with selected themes rather than an exhaustive account (which is also evident from the book’s length) and chapters dealing with maneuver warfare, attrition warfare, counterinsurgency/special ops/humanitarian efforts, unmanned aerial vehicles, ground based defenses and space reconnaissance, and infrastructure concerns indicate a broad degree of interest, given my own interest in these matters in general. What I have read about the book itself demonstrates a rather high level of praise for the Israeli Air Force, and Israel in general, which is something I am likely to appreciate but are not necessarily likely to appeal to all readers. It looks like a worthwhile and enjoyable read, though, and I look forward to reading it, as it should not take long (though I might wait to read it until I can actually write a book review for it, which could take a few days at least).
Oh, and there is one more note I would like to make about this book. As I was looking through its publisher information I found out something that I did not know when requesting this book, and that is the fact that this book is published in America by Sussex University Press, whose American offices are only a few miles away from me in the Northeast Part of Portland, not far from downtown. I don’t know necessarily if that will make the book any better, but all the same it is certainly an interesting coincidence to say the least.