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CBS Book Group - Matti Friedman's "Spies of No Country"

CBS Book Group


The next meeting of the CBS Book Group will discuss Matti Friedman's book Spies of No Country

Matti Friedman, former Associated Press correspondent and author of The Aleppo Codex and Pumpkinflowers, uses his award-winning storytelling skills to examine the true story of the spy network used by the British military and the Jewish militia in Palestine during World War II and afterward. Friedman focuses on four members of this group, known as the Arab Section.

The story begins in 1948 when they were set up at a newsstand in Beirut and passed along vital information back to Israel. The Arab Section was so successful that it led to the creation of Israel's powerful Mossad intelligence agency.

This book is available in print and e-book through the library and on-line book retailers, and in audible form through on-line book retailers.


“Wondrous . . . compelling . . . In unadorned yet piercing prose, Friedman captures what it was like to be part of the Arab Section . . . Friedman succeeds in portraying the ‘stories beneath the stories’ that acted as a bedrock to the rise of the Mossad and serve still as a window into Israel’s troubled soul.”
—The New York Times

Spies of No Country is an important book . . . Americans are not accustomed to hearing about Israel's complexity, or its diversity. We are rarely asked to consider Israel as a country that is, as Friedman says, 'more than one thing.' Any serious defender or critic of Israeli politics should consider this a serious problem. Meaningful opinions require nuanced understanding, and Spies of No Country offers that.”
—Washington Post

“In Spies of No Country, Matti Friedman, a Canadian-Israeli journalist, resurrects early operations of the intelligence service of the Palmach, the nascent military that ultimately grew into the mighty Israel Defense Forces. The book is a slim but intriguing string of anecdotes in which members of the unit risk their lives under cover in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq as Jewish settlers and refugees fought to preserve their foothold in Palestine.”

Time: 9:30 a.m.
Date: Sunday, September 22nd
Place: Board Room
Questions: Contact the organizer.

Earlier Event: September 22
Chicken Soupers
Later Event: September 27
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