Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good used copy: Some light wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins. Text is clean and legible. Possible clean ex-library copy with their stickers and or stamps.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Living History: A Memoir Hardcover – November 12, 1996

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$4.08 $0.01
Paperback, Import
"Please retry"

The Francis Miracle by John L. Allen
The Francis Miracle by John L. Allen
Check out the newest book by John L. Allen. Learn more

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; 1st edition (November 12, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067943478X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679434788
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,918,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Chaim Herzog, former UN ambassador for Israel and President of the Jewish state from 1983 to 1993, who was born and raised in Ireland, where his father was Chief Rabbi, was present at the birth of the state of Israel. He served in the British Army during the Second World War, and helped liberate the Nazi concentration camps, a profoundly moving experience for a Jewish officer. Afterwards he fought in Israel's war of independence. In the UN Herzog made eloquent speeches in defense of Israel at a time when his country was increasingly isolated. His presidency saw the beginning of the Intifada, the missions to rescue Ethiopia's Falasha Jews, and the opening up of the Soviet Union. In this extensive memoir Herzog offers his memories and reflections, including comments on the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.

From Publishers Weekly

Herzog, twice president of Israel (1983-93), has written an exhilarating autobiography, at once a stirring personal and political testament to some of this century's major events. Born in Belfast in 1918 to a Latvian mother and a Polish father who was chief rabbi of Ireland, he moved with his family to Palestine in 1935 and at 16 joined the Haganah, the underground resistance led by David Ben-Gurion. Receiving his higher education in London, Herzog, then a young barrister, joined the British army as soon as Britain declared war on Hitler, and he was part of the first Allied formation to cross into Germany, where he subsequently witnessed the horrors of the newly liberated Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He fought in Israel's war for independence, and as director of Israel's military intelligence molded it into one of the best organizations of its kind. As Israel's ambassador to the UN, he valiantly fought against the 1974 resolution sponsored by what he calls "those three great bulwarks of democracy," Cuba, Somalia and Benin, equating Zionism with racism (a resolution revoked by a large majority in 1991). As Israeli president Herzog maneuvered behind the scenes to forge a coalition government and helped shape Israel's response to growing unemployment and drug use, the intifada, the Gulf War and Iraqi Scud missile attacks. Sprinkled with his brutally candid assessments of Golda Meir, Shimon Peres, Moshe Dayan, Kurt Waldheim, Reagan, Arafat and others, his memoir ends on an optimistic note, envisaging a genuine Middle East peace that could facilitate joint Israel-Arab economic and technical cooperation. Photos.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 5 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Chaim Herzog will always be remembered in my heart as the man who defended Israel's rights on and against the world's stage; the United Nations. I would like to transcribe for you a direct quote from his speech on October 17, 1975, when the UN was about to formally vote on institutionalizing the notion of "Zionism is racism":
"We have listened to the most unbelievable nonsense on the issue of Zionism and from whom? From countries who are the archetypes of racism.
...How dare you talk of racism to us, we who suffered more than any other nation in the world from racist theories and practices, a nation which has suffered the most terrifying holocaust in the history of mankind.
...This is a sad day for the United Nations. The Jewish people will not forget this scene nor this vote.
We are a small people with a proud history. We have lived through much in our history.
We shall survive this shameful exhibition, . . . and I thank the delegations who have expressed themselves against this pernicious resolution. We shall not forget those who voted to attack our religion and our faith. We shall never forget."
Of course, his entire memoir is not written out as angry as he was when his role was as Israel's ambassador to the UN, but his writings are just as passionate.
For anyone interested in the history of the modern state of Israel, this is a must read. He was there at just about every important turn and twist; (British intelligence officer in) World War II, Israel's War of Independence, at David Ben-Gurion's side, the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War, the "Zionism is Racism" debate, and as the president of Israel for ten years -- through a national unity government and the Intifada.
Simply an amazing life.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I met Chaim Herzog in 1996, after the publication of his book and just before his death. I knew that he was one of Israel's formost warriors/statesmen, but of his life in between, well, I realized that I knew nothing indeed about him until I began to read his memoir.
The title "Living History" is perfect in all its sense. It's a fascinating account of his and modern Israel's story.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary Selikow on March 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Chaim Herzog, one of Israel's greatest statesmen, served as President of Israel from 1983 to 1993, after a distinguished career in both the British Army during World War II, the Israeli Army during the War of Independence, a key mastermind behind Israel's intelligence services and Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, between 1975 and 1978.
Chaim's father Rabbi Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, was Chief Rabbi of Ireland from 1919 to 1937 (and later, of Palestine and Israel).
When Chaim was three years old he witnessed a man on a horse and cart being shot dead outside his house during the Irish Civil War. During his studies for a legal degree at London University College in the 1930s Herzog describes the hostility faced by both the Communists with their irrational hostility to Zionists who they labelled "exploiters", "aggressors", "Fascists" and "colonialists", and the hostility by the Fascists who supported Hitler and Nazi Germany.
Herzog also describes the pro-Arab policies and attitudes of the British colonial administration of Palestine, who clinging to Lawrence of Arabia fantasies, sided with the Arabs and prevented Jews entering Palestine, even during the Holocaust.
Herzog writes of his experiences as a soldier in the British army fighting the Nazis during World War II.
participated in the liberation of several concentration camps as well as identifying a captured German soldier as Heinrich Himmler.
After the war Herzog joined the struggle for Jewish Statehood in the Land of Israel, against the Arabs and their British colonial allies.
Herzog recalls how the law forbade both Arabs and Jews from carrying arms, but the British regularly arrested Jews for carrying arms and seldom apprehended or disarmed armed Arabs.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Seth J. Frantzman HALL OF FAME on October 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful autobiography of Israeli statesman, diplomat, spymaster and politician, Chaim Herzog. Chaim Herzog was among a very fascinating family that included the Chief Rabbi of Israel in the 40s. Chaim himself served in numerous posts, finally becoming President of Israel in the 80s. This narrative covers every aspect of Israeli history from its high points to its low ones. Chaim has been central to every major event in Israeli history, from the siege of Jerusalem in 1948 to the Ethiopian airlift. His smart, to the point, autobiography pulls no punches in its incisive critique of Israeli society today and the mirror of the past. For instance he takes to task such luminaries as Golda and Dayan, while criticizing the rise of `fundamentalism' in Israeli society, painting a not so pretty picture of today's Yeshiva attitude towards serving in the IDF. He explains how the Rabbinate was actually more liberal in the 1940s then it is today. This is a wonderful tour de force on Israeli history, from someone who was central to Israeli policy for year. Not an apologists account, Chaim equally praises Ariel Sharon for his Unit 101 strategies as well as Peres for his inventive ideas. Probably no one in modern Israeli society could be so unbiased as to see the vital gifts that both Sharon and Peres have given to Israel. A must read for anyone interested in Israel or the modern political situation in the middle east.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.