Israel's Best Defense
New York: Orion Books, 1993
Category: Israel Air Force - History
It is tempting to compare Eliezer Cohen's history of the Israel Air Force with the similarly sized tome from Ehud Yonay - both of which came out in the same year. Cohen's book similarly traces the history of the Israel Air Force from its inception in 1947, but covers a few more years in time - into the early1990s. Cohen was himself an Israeli fighter pilot, and later a helicopter pilot, lending a certain degree of autobiography to sections of the book.
On the whole, however, Cohen's writing style lacks some of the polish of Ehud Yonay's prose - the difference between a pilot turned author and a professional journalist. You can see Cohen's style and voice evolve and mature through the course of the book, and Israel's Best Defense clearly stands as an able compliment to Yonay's work. Cohen knew many of the historic figures of the Heyl HaAvir first-hand - providing additional insights into critical personalities and into critical junctures in history.
So all told, an excellent history book. Not quite as well polished as Yonay's historical text, but definitely worth adding to your library if you're an avid reader of air force history in the Middle East and elsewhere.