The Lion’s Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War

  • Review
By – May 7, 2014

The sig­nif­i­cance of Israel’s vic­to­ry in the Six Day War is such that 47 years after the event, new books con­tin­ue to be pub­lished about it. Steven Pressfield’s The Lion’s Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War focus­es almost exclu­sive­ly on the war from the per­spec­tive of indi­vid­ual sol­diers and pilots of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).

The book’s strength derives from the man­ner in which the indi­vid­ual sto­ries are told. While most of the sto­ries relate to the wartime expe­ri­ence, the author includes back­ground infor­ma­tion on the inter­vie­wees which pro­vides a wel­come con­text to the sto­ries. In addi­tion, suf­fi­cient facts are includ­ed from the inter­views that one could gain a decent under­stand­ing of the caus­es of the war itself as well as the polit­i­cal milieu in which the com­bat­ants were operating. 

The book is most inter­est­ing when rely­ing on actu­al inter­views of the soldiers/​pilots of the IDF. It is the case, how­ev­er, that the book is weak­est when the author imag­ines inter­view­ing Moshe Dayan and includes such inter­views” in the book. In the book’s pref­ace, the author warns the read­er that some of the inter­views includ­ed in the book are fic­tion­al and he has includ­ed them as part of the New Jour­nal­ism” method of writ­ing about his­to­ry. Notwith­stand­ing the fic­tion­al inter­views, the book remains worth­while because of the fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries of the sol­diers and pilots who did the fighting.

Relat­ed Content

Gil Ehrenkranz is a lawyer in the Dis­trict of Colum­bia spe­cial­iz­ing in telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions law and inter­na­tion­al trans­ac­tions. He has been pre­vi­ous­ly pub­lished in MID­STREAM Mag­a­zine includ­ing an arti­cle con­cern­ing Israeli mil­i­tary options regard­ing Iran’s nuclear weapons pro­gram., as well as in the Mid­dle East Review of Inter­na­tion­al Affairs

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