Presently, it is the fall of 1977. My work on the book is almost done. Will this book be of interest in the fall of 1978, when it will, presumably, appear in print? Just as for people living on a volcano, the answer is definitely: "Yes." All eruptions are the same: the lava pours down the slopes, sweeping whatever stands in its path, covering fields with ashes and debris. Lives are suddenly terminated. After a while, people come back, and life returns to normal. "Normal" here means waiting for the next convulsion.
This is a book about Israel, about people living their normal lives constantly in the shadow of war. Co-existence with war has been a central factor in Israel's history from its establishment in 1948, and even earlier, but the threat of defeat and individual loss has grown dramatically since the Yom Kippur War of 1973. The presence of war permeates all facets of life, while the promise of peace seems far from actualization.
But the book is not only about Israel, for most of the people of the world share, in principle, the same or similar fate. Furthermore, living with war probably does not differ from life under other ongoing stress conditions, like living near a volcano or suffering from a chronic disease. Experiences such as terror and mourning, and avenues of recovery from them, are universal, although different individuals of different nations or cultures express and deal with them in different ways.
What are the psychological effects of the presence of war on people who live and grow in this country? What are the best means of coping with this reality?