The Six-Day War The Breaking of the Middle East Guy Laron

Publication date:
21 Feb 2017
Yale University Press
384 pages: 235 x 156mm
12 b-w illus.


An enthralling, big-picture history that examines the Six-Day War, its causes, and its enduring consequences against its global context

One fateful week in June 1967 redrew the map of the Middle East. Many scholars have documented how the Six-Day War unfolded, but little has been done to explain why the conflict happened at all. As we approach its fiftieth anniversary, Guy Laron refutes the widely accepted belief that the war was merely the result of regional friction, revealing the crucial roles played by American and Soviet policies in the face of an encroaching global economic crisis, and restoring Syria’s often overlooked centrality to events leading up to the hostilities.
The Six-Day War effectively sowed the seeds for the downfall of Arab nationalism, the growth of Islamic extremism, and the animosity between Jews and Palestinians. In this important new work, Laron’s fresh interdisciplinary perspective and extensive archival research offer a significant reassessment of a conflict—and the trigger-happy generals behind it—that continues to shape the modern world.

Guy Laron is lecturer in international relations, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and has been a visiting scholar at the University of Maryland, Northwestern University, and Oxford. He is the author of Origins of the Suez Crisis and lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.

"A penetrating study of a conflict that, although brief, helped establish a Middle Eastern template that is operational today. . . . Readers with an interest in Middle Eastern geopolitics will find much of value."—Kirkus Reviews

“Israel today has a raft of ‘post-Zionist’ academics and journalists for whom everything the country has done is a standing moral reproach. Writing more in sorrow than in anger, Guy Laron takes a different approach, examining how and why the war occurred at all.”—David Pryce-Jones, Literary Review, March 2017

“In this fine work, Guy Laron, a young historian at the Hebrew  University of Jerusalem , takes a fresh look at the war and its causes… Like all the best history, Laron’s book is studded with fascinating facts and anecdotes that shed light on his theories.”—Michael Sheridan, Sunday Times, 13th March 2017.

“Guy Laron’s forthcoming book on the 1967 Six-Day War—fittingly slated for publication in the year of the war’s 50th anniversary—is both impressive and disheartening. And it should be required reading for President-elect Donald Trump. . . . Readers will learn that it’s sometimes much easier for leaders to go to war than to make peace. So perhaps, despite everything else on his calendar right now, this is a book the president-elect should read. At the very least, we ordinary citizens should read it.”—Jack Reimer, Jewish News Service