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Winner Takes All by Stephen Brook is getting a bit out of date but is still a great primer for a visit to Israel. Jerusalem: City of Mirrors by Amos Elon is an illuminating and entertaining guide to the author's home town.From Beirut to Jerusalem by Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman gives an excellent background to the strife still tearing apart this region.Gaza: Legacy of an Occupation by Dick Doughty and Mohammed El-Aydi gives an emotive, gritty view of Palestenian life in the Strip.Exodus by Leon Uris is a hugely popular, hugely fat novel with an Israeli theme, great for long bus rides.The Bible - the classic travelogue to this part of the world.

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