Released on 01 January 2015.

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4.09 based on 160 ratings & 29 reviews on


Jeffrey Goldberg moved from Long Island to Israel while still a college student. In the middle of the first Palestinian uprising in 1990, the Israeli army sent him to serve as a prison guard at Ketziot, the largest jail in the Middle East. Realizing that among the prisoners were the future leaders of Palestine, and that this was a unique opportunity to learn from them about themselves, he began an extended dialogue with a prisoner named Rafiq.

This is an account of life in that harsh desert prison and of that dialogue—the accusations, explanations, fears, prejudices and aspirations each man expressed—which continues to this day.

Prisoners is a remarkable book: spare, impassioned, energetic, and unstinting in its candour about both the darkness and the hope buried within the animosities of the Middle East.

‘The book is full of a refreshing self-deprecatory wit and much insight’ Sunday Times

‘A lucid, layered memoir’ The Scotsman

‘A vivid account of the passions and prejudices, the tensions and terrors that exist in every camp, and every household, in today’s volatile Middle East’ Oprah Magazine (US)