Cain’s Field: Faith, Fratricide, and Fear in the Middle East

No matter how much you think you know about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Matt Rees’s masterful reporting will reshape your perceptions. He burrows deeply into each side’s internal struggles, taking you inside people’s minds. This will change the way you see news from the battleground. — David K. Shipler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land

In this gripping account of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, award-winning journalist Matt Rees takes us deep within Israeli and Palestinian societies to reveal the fractures at the core of both. While the world focuses almost exclusively on the violent clash between the two camps, Rees exposes the internal rifts that drain each society of its ability to act cohesively. This dazzling, groundbreaking narrative goes behind the familiar moves of the big players to reveal the individuals who are at war not only with the enemy, but also with their own people.

Beginning with the astonishing story of a Hamas member who is targeted both by Israel for his hand in attacks against Jews, and by the Palestinian Authority for the revenge killing of a police officer who murdered his brother, each chapter concentrates on one or two individuals with whom Rees has personal contact. Their stories uncover the chaos at the hearts of these two warring groups.

Rees has unparalleled access to groups and people on both sides of the conflict, as well as an extraordinary talent for looking beyond the usual stories. In Cain’s Field, he suggests that the world has been looking in the wrong place to explain the unending battles and in the wrong place for a solution. With heartbreaking detail, incisive revelations, and terrible and often moving stories of the human beings behind the intractable attitudes and violence, Rees offers a bold new perspective on this tragic and seemingly insoluble situation. In so doing, he also offers hope — the hope that by turning the spotlight inward, these societies might heal their internal wounds and move toward a peaceful future.

Sharply detailed — The New York Times