Cover image for Kissing through glass : the invisible shield between Americans and Israelis
Kissing through glass : the invisible shield between Americans and Israelis
Starr, Joyce.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago : Contemporary Books, [1990]

Physical Description:
xvi, 254 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E183.8.I7 S73 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Starr, a former senior aide in the Carter White House and frequent TV and radio commentator on Middle East affairs, examines the paradoxes inherent in U.S.-Israeli relations, which she sees as steeped in feelings of love and fury, admiration and envy. The glass of the title symbolizes a "cool, almost invisible, barrier" that often denies the two "lovers" the full warmth of intimacy. Of all the gaps that separate the two countries, the most fundamental, Starr argues, is the difference in outlooks on life: "innate optimism confronting innate pessimism." Starr's work is informed by interviews with important figures such as Yitzhak Shamir, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin, Chaim Herzog, Moshe Arens, Ariel Sharon, and Zbigniew Brzezinski. According to the author, historical circumstances cause Americans to root their visions of the future in the present, while Israelis project their future from the past. In all, then, a valuable guide at a time when the world is particularly interested in the Middle East. No index. ~--Allen Weakland

Publisher's Weekly Review

``Hidden beneath Israel's Superman bravado is the Clark Kent of the Middle East,'' writes Starr, a political advisor on the Middle East in Washington, D.C. The average Israeli citizen, she contends, is an innate pessimist, cautiously conservative, full of deep-seated fears and insecurities. In contrast, Americans who have had extensive dealings with Israelis often describe them as arrogant, blunt, infuriating, willful or defensive. For their part, Israelis--who have deeply ingrained traditions of social welfare, communal support and friendship--tend to view Americans as a parochial, superficial people given to appalling levels of violence and closed to new ideas. This absorbing commentary holds up a mirror to each culture, with reflections that are both fresh and surprising. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Attempting to illuminate the differences between Americans and Israelis, this unfocused book is only partially successful. The author, a frequent media commentator on the Middle East, interviewed many Israelis (including Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin) and Americans (both Jewish and Gentile) and obtained anecdotal information she uses to examine a wide variety of situations where citizens of both countries interact: banking, business negotiations, fund raising, political alliance building, landing contracts, etc. The pacing is somewhat uneven, as Starr skips from topic to topic attempting to establish a conversational tone, and her analysis begins and ends within the Israeli viewpoint: indeed, Kissing Through Glass seems to be primarily a primer for Americans who want to know what the Israelis think about them. Recommended with reservations for subject collections.-- David P. Snider, Casa Grande P.L., Ariz. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.