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How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less

How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less

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By Sarah Glidden. Published by Drawn & Quarterly. 

Softcover, 212 pages, Colour, 2010.


Sarah Glidden is a progressive Jewish American twenty-something who is both vocal and critical of Israeli politics in the Holy Land. When a debate with her mother prods her to sign up for a Birthright Israel tour, Glidden expects to find objective facts to support her strong opinions. During her two weeks in Israel, Glidden takes advantage of the opportunity to ask the people she meets about the fraught and complex issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but their answers only lead her to question her own take on the conflict. 

Simple linework and gorgeous watercolors spotlight Israel’s countryside, urban landscapes, and religious landmarks. With straightforward sincerity, lovingly observed anecdotes, and a generous dose of self-deprecating humor, How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less is accessible while retaining Glidden’s distinctive perspective. Over the course of this touching memoir, Glidden comes to terms with the idea that there are no easy answers to the world's problems, and that is okay.

Glidden’s debut book, How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less landed on several best of the year lists, including Entertainment Weekly; earned a YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens distinction; and won an Ignatz Award. Her second book, Rolling Blackouts, which documents her experience shadowing journalists in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, will also come out this fall from Drawn & Quarterly. 

Praise for How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less

Amid it all, Glidden the storyteller exudes intimacy and warmth.

  Washington Post

[A] masterful new book of graphic nonfiction.


A primer for those who aren't aware of the complexity of issues and emotions underlying this seemingly interminable strife.

  Kirkus Review

One of the the best graphic novels of the last few years.


A graphic nonfiction novel of subtlety and understated wit.

  Entertainment Weekly

Another enduring take-away is that not only is Israel beautiful but here is an artist who has manages to create something beautiful from something painful and fractured and messy and complicated. Which is a mighty achievement.


A surprisingly disarming book—easy to read, and rewarding to contemplate.

  AV Club
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