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Matti Friedman's book, The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible, published in May 2012 by Algonquin Books, is an account of how the Aleppo Codex, "the oldest, most complete, most accurate text of the Hebrew Bible," came to reside in Israel. It was believed the codex had been destroyed during the 1947 Anti-Jewish riots in Aleppo when the Central Synagogue of Aleppo, where the codex was housed, was set on fire and badly damaged. Friedman also investigates how and why many of the codex's pages went missing and what their fate might be.
It was one small hilltop in a small, unnamed war in the late 1990s, but it would send out ripples still felt worldwide today. The hill, in Lebanon, was called the Pumpkin; flowers was the military code word for “casualties.” Award-winning writer Matti Friedman re-creates the harrowing experience of a band of young soldiers--the author among them--charged with holding this remote outpost, a task that changed them forever and foreshadowed the unwinnable conflicts the United States would soon confront in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Part memoir, part reportage, part military history, this powerful narrative captures the birth of today’s chaotic Middle East and the rise of a twenty-first-century type of war in which there is never a clear victor, and media images can be as important as the battle itself. Raw and beautifully rendered, Pumpkinflowers will take its place among classic war narratives by George Orwell, Philip Caputo, and Vasily Grossman. It is an unflinching look at the way we conduct war today.
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