A view of Israel and the occupied territories, where, in the eyes of the authors, nothing is typical except the contradictions. The traveller will find impossibly dry and harsh deserts (with tracts coaxed to fertility by the Israelis), valleys, mountains, ravines and canyons, flat coastal plains, golden beaches, lakes, oases, lush hills and pastures, orange and olive groves and vineyards, and the lowest point on earth where the Dead Sea lies. Scattered over this varied landscape are the remains of civilizations and conquerors long since dead. Shadows of the ancient worlds of the Canaanites, the Israelites, Nabataeans and Hittites are discernible among the more tangible remains left by the Greeks, Romans and Byzantines. The intricate art and architecture of the Arabs still stands next to the heavy beaauty of Crusadrer ruins and here and there, evidence of 400 years of Ottoman rule can still be seen in a portal or mosque. The book makes it clear that history is still in the making here, with the problems that rack the Middle East. The Holy Land is the focus and cradle of belief for almost half the world's population and Palestine only became the State of Israel 40 years ago. The authors devote a lot of space to the city of Jerusalem and to the history of the land as a whole, but they steer clear of political statements in the text, and suggest that a visit may change the traveller's perspective but it is sure to confuse them further as there are no simple answers; there is no moral "cure-all"solution. The authors also wrote "Essentially Turkey".