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Ben-Gurion:Father of Modern Israel

Ben-Gurion:Father of Modern Israel
Publication Date: 
November 20, 2014
0300180454 (9780300180459)
From the prizewinning Jewish Lives series, an insightful study of the inner life of David Ben-Gurion, the Zionist leader responsible for the creation of the state of Israel

"The most intimate yet unflinching portrait to date. . . . Shapira may be the last truly qualified person to unpack some of the mysteries of Israel's George Washington."--Ilene Prusher, New York Times Book Review

"Keenly observed . . . Shed(s) light on the inner life of the man whom fellow Zionist leader Berl Katznelson called 'history's gift to the Jewish people.'"--Liel Leibovitz, Wall Street Journal

David Ben-Gurion cast a great shadow during his lifetime, and his legacy continues to be sharply debated to this day. There have been many books written about the life and accomplishments of the Zionist icon and founder of modern Israel, but this new biography by eminent Israeli historian Anita Shapira strives to get to the core of the complex man who would become the face of the new Jewish nation. Shapira tells the Ben-Gurion story anew, focusing especially on the period after 1948, during the first years of statehood.

As a result of her extensive research and singular access to Ben-Gurion's personal archives, the author provides fascinating and original insights into his personal qualities and those that defined his political leadership. As Shapira writes, "Ben-Gurion liked to argue that history is made by the masses, not individuals. But just as Lenin brought the Bolshevik Revolution into the world and Churchill delivered a fighting Britain, so with Ben-Gurion and the Jewish state. He knew how to create and exploit the circumstances that made its birth possible." Shapira's portrait reveals the flesh-and-blood man who more than anyone else realized the Israeli state.

About Jewish Lives:

Jewish Lives is a prizewinning series of interpretative biography designed to explore the many facets of Jewish identity. Individual volumes illuminate the imprint of Jewish figures upon literature, religion, philosophy, politics, cultural and economic life, and the arts and sciences. Subjects are paired with authors to elicit lively, deeply informed books that explore the range and depth of the Jewish experience from antiquity to the present.

In 2014, the Jewish Book Council named Jewish Lives the winner of its Jewish Book of the Year Award, the first series ever to receive this award.

More praise for Jewish Lives:

"Excellent" -New York Times

"Exemplary" -Wall St. Journal

"Distinguished" -New Yorker

"Superb" -The Guardian

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