Amos Oz’s Between Friends recounts life on a kibbutz sometime between the Sinai Campaign and the Six Days War.
The book weaves in and out of the lives of the members of the kibbutz, highlighting, as it goes, the mostly negative influence of collective existence. The novel revolves around a central irony: in a community that is supposed to work together, share property, and make decisions by consensus, there is a great deal of anonymity. The "between friends" of the novel is not to be taken seriously. The jealous socialism of the kibbutz, according to Oz, did not lead to greater harmony between its members, but simmering resentments, low achievement, and a high attrition rate.
This result falls under the law of unintended consequences. A system designed to bring people together, often tore them apart.