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Ben-Gurion
Cover of Ben-Gurion
Ben-Gurion
A Political Life
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Shimon Peres was in his early twenties when he first met David Ben-Gurion. Although the state that Ben-Gurion would lead through war and peace had not yet declared its precarious independence, the "Old Man," as he was called even then, was already a mythic figure. Peres, who came of age in the cabinets of Ben-Gurion, is uniquely placed to evoke this figure of stirring contradictions-a prophetic visionary and a canny pragmatist who early grasped the necessity of compromise for national survival. Ben-Gurion supported the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, though it meant surrendering a two-thousand-year-old dream of Jewish settlement in the entire land of Israel. He granted the Orthodox their first exemptions from military service despite his own deep secular commitments, and he reached out to Germany in the aftermath of the Holocaust, knowing that Israel would need as many strong alliances as possible within the European community. A protege of Ben-Gurion and himself a legendary figure on the international political stage, Shimon Peres brings to his account of Ben-Gurion's life and towering achievements the profound insight of a statesman who shares Ben-Gurion's dream of a modern, democratic Jewish nation-state that lives in peace and security alongside its Arab neighbors. In Ben-Gurion, Peres sees a neglected model of leadership that Israel and the world desperately need in the twenty-first century.
Shimon Peres was in his early twenties when he first met David Ben-Gurion. Although the state that Ben-Gurion would lead through war and peace had not yet declared its precarious independence, the "Old Man," as he was called even then, was already a mythic figure. Peres, who came of age in the cabinets of Ben-Gurion, is uniquely placed to evoke this figure of stirring contradictions-a prophetic visionary and a canny pragmatist who early grasped the necessity of compromise for national survival. Ben-Gurion supported the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, though it meant surrendering a two-thousand-year-old dream of Jewish settlement in the entire land of Israel. He granted the Orthodox their first exemptions from military service despite his own deep secular commitments, and he reached out to Germany in the aftermath of the Holocaust, knowing that Israel would need as many strong alliances as possible within the European community. A protege of Ben-Gurion and himself a legendary figure on the international political stage, Shimon Peres brings to his account of Ben-Gurion's life and towering achievements the profound insight of a statesman who shares Ben-Gurion's dream of a modern, democratic Jewish nation-state that lives in peace and security alongside its Arab neighbors. In Ben-Gurion, Peres sees a neglected model of leadership that Israel and the world desperately need in the twenty-first century.
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About the Author-
  • David Landau is the author of Piety and Power: The World of Jewish Fundamentalism and served as editor in chief of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz from 2004 to 2008.
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  • AudioFile Magazine This book reminds us that the Middle East was, is, and will continue to be a focal point for world attention. The author, Israel's current president and a longtime political leader, has written an analytical exploration of Israel's founder and first prime minister. It's a personal account based on their long association and includes intimate stories that make Ben-Gurion an even more compelling historical figure. Narrator Michael Prichard has a low, intense voice that lends authority and seriousness to the book. His clipped delivery, superb diction, and straightforward demeanor capture Peres's intent but also leave the book without the human-interest angle it needs to fully engage our attention. Prichard indulges in some slight character voices, and he does well with the Hebrew and Yiddish phrases sprinkled throughout the text. R.I.G. (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine
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Ben-Gurion
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A Political Life
David Landau
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