Books of the year 2010 | Geoffrey Wheatcroft
As Orwell described him, the book reviewer is often a miserable drudge, but I very much enjoyed reading two books I reviewed in these pages. The Last Dance: 1936 - the Year of Change by Denys Blakeway (John Murray, £25) portrays one of the most riveting and ominous years in the past century. Jonathan Schneer's scholarly The Balfour Declaration: the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Bloomsbury, £25) relates that familiar and fateful episode with much unfamiliar detail. Not many people who now ardently support either Israel or its foes remember the fierce resistance that Jewish anti-Zionists put up to a plan which, they predicted, "would prove a veritable calamity for the whole Jewish people".