From Publishers Weekly
In this hopeful autobiographical memoir, Israel's current foreign minister discusses his behind-the-scenes negotiations that helped cement the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian accord, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994. Born in 1923 in Poland, Peres followed his family to Palestine in the 1930s after his father, a lumber merchant, was forced out of business by punitive tax assessments. He writes about his formative years on a kibbutz and his role as head of arms procurement for the new Israeli army, providing a firsthand account of the birth of Israel. Peres, defense minister in the 1970s and later Israel's prime minister, uses diary excerpts to recreate his orchestration of Israel's rescue of passengers on a French plane hijacked by PLO terrorists and flown to Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976. He also settles scores with political rivals Golda Meir and Yitzhak Rabin (in whose government he currently serves) and reveals that in 1987 he held secret talks with King Hussein of Jordan in London to launch a peace conference without the PLO?an aborted plan whose failure he blames on U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
An entertaining memoir by a politician seems an oxymoron. But beyond his active role in Israel's--and world--history for more than 50 years, Peres is a gifted storyteller, able to sketch in a few lines the remarkable figures who enliven his narrative: Ben-Gurion and Meir, Dayan and Begin, Mitterrand, Brandt, and Kreisky, and various U.S. leaders. Peres adeptly deploys humanizing details--why, as a kibbutz herder, he preferred sheep over cows or how Dimona in the Negev Desert was prepared for the nuclear reactor Peres had convinced France to sell Israel--to tie details of arms procurement and political infighting to more mundane realities. His story is rich in drama: war and intifada, terrorism and the Entebbe raid, Irangate and "the long search for peace," for which Peres shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Yasser Arafat of the PLO. Battling for Peace responds calmly to ugly charges against Peres in Labor Party rival Yitzhak Rabin's 1979 autobiography, but harshly criticizes Likud leaders Begin--for failing to control Ariel Sharon's tactics in Lebanon--and Yitzhak Shamir (Summing Up, 1994) for destroying a hopeful opening toward peace that Peres negotiated in 1987 with King Hussein of Jordan. Insider's history at its best. Mary Carroll
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