This is a highly readable book about the trials and tribulations of Arabs and Jews in Israel today. Hiro, an Indian-born veteran journalist who has written extensively on the contemporary Middle East, provides a fascinating tale of hopes and shattered dreams among Palestinians and Israelis. Furthermore, the author goes beyond the headlines to reveal the contours of everyday struggles by ordinary people and their leaders. The book profiles the main players in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and describes the competing claims of both sides to the "Promised Land." The conflict between secular and religious groups in both Jewish and Arab communities is described in detail, as is the increasingly important role of the Israeli Arabs in consolidating the peace process. The author also describes, in a balanced and objective fashion, internal contradictions within Palestinian and Israeli societies. This engaging book is highly recommended for both lay readers and students of the Arab-Israeli conflict.ÄNader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, AL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.