My history B.A. informs my first observation about Homeland—writer Marv Wolfman identifies a disputed point in the history of the formation of Israel as a state—and I appreciated it. Wolfman takes the rockier road.
A lot of Homeland does take the rockier road, working very hard to be not to be jingoistic. The knocks one can think of against Israeli personalities are here—Sharon, for instance, and the Phalangist Massacre. In fact, if the book is biased, it’s not against Israelis or Muslims—it’s against American Christians. Wolfman gets in a hilarious bit where a self-identified American Christian thinks torture is totally un-Christian. It’s an inappropriate laugh, but a fine observation. There’s another point about the regular annual taxes Israelis pay. It’s hard not to roll one’s eyes at the American complaints.
The book is separated into three parts, tied with a narrative about a university class studying Israel, its history and its culture. The first part is through the formation of the state itself in 1948; the second generally covers culture, and the history from 1948 on; the third is a summary of other relevant topics. As a history text, Homeland’s very strong. It’s actually dense enough it could use a study guide, especially during the pre-1900 material.
Mario Ruiz’s combination of art and graphic design is effective. The overall transfer of information is important and Ruiz facilitates it.
Homeland is educational reading… but the package is so compelling, it also serves recreational purposes.