The topic at hand is narrow, but the lessons are broad. Hatuka uses specific examples to illustrate the greater Israeli reality. By emphasizing the impact of violence on civil rituals, cultural identity, and the meaning of place in Tel Aviv, Hatuka elucidates the greater conflict at hand. She presents themes such as absence and presence in urban design alongside issues such as behavioral perspectives and the relationship between nation and state. The comprehensiveness of this book is striking.
Analyzing the Arab-Israeli conflict by examining Tel Aviv, using urban theory as a basis, provides for a compelling but heavy read. This is a book whose high level of scholarship is for those readers with a background in history, urban design, sociology, political science, or conflict resolution. In addition, as most historians will attest, true objectivity is hard to come by, and therefore I recommend that potential readers familiarize themselves with Israeli politics and the doctrines of the various parties before beginning this book. Politics aside, Tali Hatuka is a serious scholar and those wishing to learn more about the interwoven fields of urban space, violence, and cultural identity should find this book of interest.