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A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel Paperback – April 20, 2010
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“This is an excellent examination of a presidential decision that has had immense historical consequences.” (Booklist)
“ A Safe Haven, is an outstanding achievement. This is certain to become an essential work for students, journalists, and statesmen---indeed, anyone interested in understanding Israel’s origins.” (Michael Oren, author of Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present, and Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East.)
“In their deeply engaging study of Truman and the foundation of Israel, the Radoshes capture the dramatic intersection of momentous millennial aspirations and the thrilling intricacies of political intrigue with remarkable narrative skill. ” (Ron Rosenbaum, author of Explaining Hitler and The Shakespeare Wars)
“Even knowing how the story ends, A SAFE HAVEN, had me sitting on the edge of my seat watching Harry Truman weigh the arguments of his friends and advisors in the months, then weeks, then days leading up to his recognition of Israel.” (Cokie Roberts, New York Times bestselling author of The Ladies of Liberty)
From the Back Cover
On May 14, 1948, under the stewardship of President Harry S. Truman, the United States became the first nation to recognize the State of Israel -- just moments after sovereignty had been declared in Jerusalem. But it was hardly a foregone conclusion that America would welcome the creation of this new country. While acknowledging this as one of his proudest moments, Truman also admitted that no issue was "more controversial or more complex than the problem of Israel."
Impeccably researched and brilliantly told, based on never-before-used archival material, A Safe Haven is a suspenseful, moment-by-moment re-creation of this crossroads in U.S.-Israeli relations and Middle Eastern politics.
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Top Customer Reviews
Truman, a true hero in this drama, was beyond frustrated by the lack of progress by the British and the perceived lack of appreciation by certain Zionist leaders, particularly, Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver.
There are several references in the book to the great playwright Ben Hecht, who as many may know wrote works as diverse at "The Front Page" and "Perfidy." In his autobiography, "A Child of the Century", Hecht opined that "in the warmest Christian heart, there is a cold spot for the Jew." While I do not believe the statement is universally true, it nonetheless represents a mindset that still prevails. Further, while the authors do not quote this statement, they demonstrate it in some of the more vitriolic comments by President Truman.Read more ›
Jeffrey Herf, author of The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocuast (Harvard University Press, 2006), and Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World, forthcoming with Yale University Press in Fall 2009.
What the Radoshes have done is show the kaleidoscope of faiths, political maneuverings, personality conflicts set in the aftermath of the Holocaust, with the surviving Jews in DP camps, some as tragic as the concentration camps. How our State Department, the Zionists, the anti-Zionists and most importantly, Harry Truman reacted to this reality is shown in a swift and sharp chronology that shows the day by day, week by week, month by month trials and tribulations of those with power and those without.
There are wonderfully juicy stories including Harry Truman saying to his old (Jewish) pal, Eddie Jacobson, who was trying to convince him to allow Chaim Weizman one more visit to the White House, "You win, you bald-headed S.O.B. I will see him..." and then after the State of Israel was recognized Chaim Weizmann saying, when responding to Truman who said "that he was the President of so many millions of Americans, Chaim retorted, 'But I am the President of a million presidents!' The joke was not lost on Truman." Truman perceived Weizmann as a prophet of old and the mutual respect they had for eachother is a wonder to read about.
There are a number of wonders, suprises, and head-twisters in the book.Read more ›
Aside from this nitpicking, this is a magnificent, if slow reading, history of the public and private political jockeying that went on for the three years from the day Harry Truman assumed the Presidency until the day President Truman became the first head of state to recognize modern Israel as an independent State.
For a bit more than 60 years, the popular media have reported only the endless conflict between Muslims and Israel. Most people probably have little understanding of how and why Israel came into being. The longer story, which the Radoshes summarize well, begins in the late 19th Century with the quest of European Jews for a homeland to escape the discrimination and persecution of Europe. The end result was Zionism which brought development to areas previously thought uncultivable in a backwater of the Ottoman Empire.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is very rare to be able to read a non-fiction book and be able to give it 5 stars. A Safe Haven describes in detail the pull and tug in Truman's attempt to create the State of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Elliot Rosenzweig
If you're trying to understand the importance of the State of Israel, this is one of the books you should read. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Douglas Goldstein
Scholarly, fully footnoted, lots of facts but little passion. I would have liked to know more about the background and motivation of key players like David K Niles. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Ashdodi
This book is intellectually dishonest. It is written for one reason and one reason alone...Zionist propaganda. Harry S. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Hill Country Rambler
Thank you Allis and Ronald Radosh for a well researched telling of the years from 1945 to 1947 and the creation of the Jewish state where we learn that:
1) The US State... Read more
A very well researched and highly informative book about the internal politics of the Truman administration, which was one of the greatest friends that Israel ever had. Read morePublished on March 1, 2014 by Cliff Pinto
I live in Israel. The events surrounding the founding of the state are often presented with personal views influencing the narritave. Not the case in this book. Read morePublished on February 6, 2014 by SMB.