Rabinovich's book, originally published in 2004, remains the most informative, readable, and coherent presentation on the Yom Kippur War. The author presents a riveting account of the intensity of the war, deftly shifting from the narrative of overall operations to searing individual accounts of combat without disrupting the flow of strategic and tactical operations.
In this updated version, Rabinovich enriches his account with startling revelations from newly available sources, such as the identification of the son-in-law of former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser as an Israeli spy. Other revelations deepen the culpability of Israeli intelligence and top officials: Jordan's King Hussein not only personally warned Israeli prime minister Golda Meir that an attack was imminent but, later in the war, asked her to refrain from an all-out attack against Jordanian forces on the Golan Heights. Bugging devices installed on Egyptian communications centers by Israeli commandos prior to the war went unused since Israeli intelligence resolutely maintained that no attack was possible until certain conditions were met. This mindset became known as hakonseptzia (the "concept").
Rabinovich also reveals the early despair that infected many in the Israeli chain of command, with Chief of Staff David Elazar lamenting that the war could not be won, and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan advocating a nuclear "demonstration."
The Yom Kippur War brilliantly captures the nature of the 1973 war.
Norvell B. DeAtkine
Holden Beach, N.C.