Jakub Szántó (b. 1977) is a journalist and television reporter. He is a holder of a Doctorate in Modern History at Charles University in Prague. Since 1999 he has worked as a television reporter. He has focused primarily on the Middle East and Africa, where he has covered a large proportion of international crises. Szántó is the holder of the Open Society Fund Prague’s Journalism Award (2014) and the Ferdinand Peroutka Award for journalism (2017). Supported by over two decades of reporting from the Middle East crowned by five years as the permanent Correspondent in the region, the author offers in his two books – Behind the Curtain of War and From Isratine with Love – his unorthodox view of both the peoples, their lifestyle, culture, and history.
CZECHIA’S HIGHEST LITERARY HONOUR – READERS’ CHOICE (2019)
October 2020, 305 pages
Available material: English sample
High-octane outlook of Israel and Palestine through ancient and modern history
Jakub Szántó’s core ambition is to present the fatefully intertwined region of Israel and Palestine – the Isratine – as a place bubbling with ordinary life, not just a site of conflict, and he makes no secret of his love for both its peoples. Focused on individual stories of people shaping history as well as those whose fates were shaped by it, he uncovers wealth of personal motivations and questions of individual identity. Szántó offers historic background of today’s state of affaires, while his main goal remains disruption of the often-schematic perceptions and black-and-white visions of the restless region.
Speedy driving with hot female rallye drivers through narrow Palestinian streets. Scuba diving among swarm of hungry sharks along Israeli coast. Clenched-teeth storytelling by two old opposing veterans of the first Arab-Israeli war.
The TV reporter’ language is once again full of lively, sarcastic, and self-ironic humor. The book is accompanied by a wealth of Szántó’s photographs from the years he spent in the Middle East as well as explanatory maps.
“This book decidedly does not intend to paint the Palestinians as victims, or Israel as a country full of suffering: optimism has an advantage here, albeit a small one. (…) From Isratine With Love is a popularizing book about the Israelis and Palestinians, in which Szántó weaves together ancient and modern history, as well as on-the-ground reporting and personal stories.”