In the summer of 1998, Daniel Gordis and his family moved to Israel
from Los Angeles. They planned to be there for a year, during which
time Daniel would be a Fellow at the Mandel Institute in Jerusalem.
This was a euphoric time in Israel. The economy was booming, and
peace seemed virtually guaranteed. A few months into their stay,
Gordis and his wife decided to remain in Israel permanently,
confident that their children would be among the first generation
of Israelis to grow up in peace.
Immediately after arriving in Israel, Daniel had started sending
out e-mails about his and his family's life to friends and family
abroad. These missives--passionate, thoughtful, beautifully
written, and informative--began reaching a much broader readership
than he'd ever envisioned, eventually being excerpted in The New
York Times Magazine to much acclaim. An edited and finely crafted
collection of his original e-mails, If a Place Can Make You Cry is
a first-person, immediate account of Israel's post-Oslo meltdown
cuts through the rhetoric and stridency of most dispatches from
that country or from the international media.
Above all, Gordis tells the story of a family that must cope with
the sudden realization that they took their children from a serene
and secure neighborhood in Los Angeles to an Israel not at peace
but mired in war. This is the chronicle of a loss of innocence--the
innocence of Daniel and his wife, and of their children.
Ultimately, through Gordis's eyes, Israel, with all its beauty,
madness, violence, and history, comes to life in a way we've never
quite seen before.
Daniel Gordis captures as no one has the years leading up to what
every Israeli dreaded: on April 1, 2002, Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon declared that Israel was at war. After an almost endless
cycle of suicide bombings and harsh retaliation, any remaining
chance for peace had seemingly died.
If a Place Can Make You Cry is the story of a time in which peace
gave way to war, when childhood innocence evaporated in the heat of
hatred, when it became difficult even to hope. Like countless other
Israeli parents, Gordis and his wife struggled to make their
children's lives manageable and meaningful, despite it all. This is
a book about what their children gained, what they lost, and how,
in the midst of everything, a whole family learned time and again
what really matters.
"From the Hardcover edition."
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