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A Political Life

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Part of the Jewish Encounter series

Israel’s current president gives us a dramatic and revelatory biography of Israel’s founding father and first prime minister.
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 protégé 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.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 08, 2011 – Peres, president and former prime minister of Israel, provides an intriguing and intimate political biography of David Ben-Gurion (1886 1973), Israel s first prime minister and his erstwhile mentor. Readers will enjoy Peres s analysis of his relationship with Ben-Gurion and will find his humility appealing: Why did Ben-Gurion take to me? And his emotional admissions that he had never met a man with inner strength and determination as Ben-Gurion and that like Churchill, the other details of life shrink into insignificance alongside the decisions made at a crucial juncture in Israel s history elevate this book above a standard biography. The author describes their long friendship with warmth, obvious affection, and respect, but readers might be surprised that the book s brightest spots are when Peres discusses his own life, especially as reminiscences of Ben-Gurion frequently take the format of conversations between Peres and his co-writer, Landau, former editor-in-chief of the Israeli newspaper Ha aretz, which are embedded within the text and break up the flow of the narrative.

Customer Reviews


The book is a well written personal view of the founder of the State of Israel. This is a great way to climb inside the minds of the people who influenced the events that brought Israel into being.

Landau did a masterful job of turning the words of Shimon Peres into a compelling narrative. The conversations between Peres and Landau quoted in the book add a personal touch to the book.

I give the book 5 stars. Anyone with an interest in Ben Gurion and the origins of Israel will find the book a valuable investment of time and money.

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  • $15.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Oct 25, 2011
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 240 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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