Four Books I Finished in July

The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency – Authored by Chris Whipple

Few books I have read were more timely. Reading this book, and searching my memories of past administrations, makes clear that among the many reasons that the Presidency of Donald Trump is cratering is that he seemingly refused to take on a strong and independent Chief of Staff that will say what he thinks rather than what the boss wants to hear. Perhaps now General Kelly will. For sure, he should read this book.

The Last Palestinian: The Rise and Reign of Mahmoud Abbas – Authored by Grant Rumley and Amir Tibon.

In March, I had occasion to hear Grant Rumley speak. I knew then that when his book would be published I would immediately purchase it. I was not disappointed. The story of Abbas is the enigma of the last twenty years. Israel could be ready to make the difficult concessions to make peace, but has never had a willing Palestinian partner that would mirror those difficult concessions. This highly readable book makes that fact glaringly clear.

Secret Soldier: The Six Day War…:Golan Heights…Entebbe… – Authored by Colonel Muki Betser with Robert Rosenberg

This is a remarkable story about Colonel Betser’s life in the IDF where he was one of Israel’s foremost Special Forces soldiers. He gives the reader an eyewitness perspective as to what it was like. I highly recommend this book even if humble-pie is not exactly the writer’s forte’. But then again, he has nothing to be humble about, he was a true hero!

Camino Island – Authored by John Grisham

Alright, I admit it. Every once in a while, I need some escapism fiction. My yearning for that reaches a crescendo when Grisham publishes a new book. Reading his stuff is like it used to be to eat at Houston’s, never great but always very good and exactly what I expected.

Seven Books Cliff Sobin Finished Reading in June

Struggling Over Israel’s Soul – Authored by Elazar Stern

This is an outstanding and fascinating memoir about how retired General Stern remained true to his orthodox beliefs with carrying out his leadership responsibilities in the IDF.

Israel’s Critical Requirements for Defensible Borders – Edited by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

An important contribution to understanding Israel’s fundamental security needs in any future negotiations.

Encounters of Fate: Heartbreak and Hope – Authored by David Yair

A rather hokey, but engaging, historical fiction that spans multiple decades beginning with the Holocaust. I can’t say it is a great book, but I was not able to put it down.

For heaven’s Sake: Squadron 101 and the Yom Kippur War – Authored by Aviram Barkai

This book honors those that fought in the skies to save Israel’s soldiers and civilians on the ground. I can’t recommend it enough.

A History of Scotland – Authored by Neil Oliver

While in Scotland for 2 weeks I started reading this book. All though it gets repetitive at times, that is not the author’s fault, it is more the tragic nature of Scottish history. I wish I had read it before I arrived in Scotland because it would have made a great trip even better.

An America Sickness – Authored by Elizabeth Rosenthal

This book has forever changed my views concerning the health care debate. Written by a New York Times reporter who is also a physician, it details the egregious problems that exist in each component of the medical industry in America.

How to Market a Book – Authored by Joanna Penn

A surprisingly good book on the subject.