· Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy, by Natan Sharansky (PublicAffairs, $26.95). Why a state founded on ethnic identity is compatible with democracy.
· Golda, by Elinor Burkett (Harper, $27.95). A new biography aims to reveal the woman behind the legend.
· A History of Palestine: From the Ottoman Conquest to the Founding of the State of Israel, by Gudrun Krämer (Princeton, $35). A German scholar's history of modern Palestine from 1800 to 1948.
· Jerusalem: City of Longing, by Simon Goldhill (Harvard, $27.95). A history of the holy city through its architecture.
· Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation, by Saree Makdisi (Norton, $24.95). What daily life is like for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
· Palestinian Walks: Forays Into a Vanishing Landscape, by Raja Shehadeh (Scribner, paperback, $15). A Palestinian Christian recounts his hikes.
· The Story of Israel: From Theodor Herzl to the Roadmap for Peace, by Martin Gilbert (Carlton, $45). An illustrated history.