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The Pledge Paperback – June 26, 2000

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fantastic, funny, and exciting--and absolutely true...a book that will be enjoyed by just about everyone!" -- Joseph Heller, author of Catch 22

About the Author

Leonard Slater spent over 25 years as a correspondent, writer and editor for Newsweek, NBC News and Time Magazine in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and throughout Europe and Asia. His research for the pledge was helped by his own reportorial recollections of Czechoslovakia and Israel in 1948.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (June 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595092977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595092970
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #886,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Max J Rosenthal on July 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
I cannot possibly put into words how much I think anyone with even a passing interest in Israel should read this book. I would suspect that even the average politically active Zionist, even Israelis or Americans, has never heard of Rudolph Sonnenborn, the operation that this book describes, or most of the people in it. And frankly, that's pathetic. Not only is this a great and well-written story, real-life smuggling and covert operations at their very best, but it illuminates a lot of the dry facts that are found in basic histories of the War of Independence. Afterwards I was reading Howard Sachar's massive and bone-dry A History of Israel, and it was great to see mention of smuggled planes or illicit factories now that I actually knew the story behind them. This is quite seriously a must-read; quick, tense, well-written, and fascinating both as a story and as history.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Leonard Slater on December 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
"The story of an incredible aand dramatic race against time -- to providea state not yet born with an army that was still illegal -- is told in one of the most suspenseful works of historey ever published. It was an Force was supplied with Nazi fighter planes, bought from Communst Czechoslovakia with dolllars solicited from an American real-estate magnate on the urging of a Socialist farmer, who ran this amateur undeerground operating out of the Hotel 14, a Manhattan hotel known for its high-kicking chorus girls, packed appearances by Frank Sinatra and its little old ladies.
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Format: Paperback
There are only a few people who can qualify for nomination as "the person most responsible for the State of Israel being". One of those people is Rudolph G.Sonneborn. The only place you will ever read anything really material about him and his unique group, "the Sonneborn Institute", is in The Pledge. Leonard Slater "found" him and tells us of his importance in the creation of The State of Israel in this most important, most unbelievable, most exciting but absolutely true story. It contains mystery, intrigue Everyone interested in Israel should read this book and know not only the fascinating story, but learn about Rudolf G.Sonneborn, one of the most important, yet most private of men, in Jewish history [...]
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark A. Moorstein on December 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I just finished this book after having it on my bookshelf for years. I'm glad I did because it was well worth reading --- not because it was a perfect book, but because it fills in important gaps in understanding the reaction of Jews and the world to the Holocaust. In doing my own research for a book, I remembered the Pledge and read the cover. While Joseph Heller might have pointed out the humorous aspects of the book, these paled in comparison to the seriousness of the effort by Americans to support the nascent idea of Israel. It was the serious side that attracted me. What I took from the book was the evolution from the meek, quiet, compliant European Jew to the bold, brash and surviving Israeli. While Hitler unleashed a social plague, from that plague came a people hardened by the fire of war and extermination. These people became survivors in every sense of the word. Israelis remain survivors. But the survival of these people initially rested in large part on the American spirit of innovation and adaptability. And this, to me, fused the encapsulated history of the Jews to the modern world. The most ironic part of the book --- and the most fascinating (because I am a pilot) --- was the use of Nazi Me-109's to win control of the skies during the war of independence. Who could imagine the irony of history --- that the tools of war laid down by a people's killer would become their necessary tools of freedom? This is the real story underlying Slater's book. The book sometimes becomes long on detail --- lists and lists of equipment and parts. It's hard to keep straight all of the various people. Although the Sonnenborn Institute was important, the real heroes were the men and women who actually gave their time, money and lives for their ideal. Despite its minor flaws, the book is well worth reading and excellent as a background resource.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
There are only a few people who can qualify for nomination as "the person most responsible for the State of Israel being". One of those people is Rudolph G.Sonneborn. The only place you will ever read about him and his unique group, "the Sonneborn Institute", is in The Pledge. Leonard Slater "found" him and tells us of his importance in the creation of The State of Israel in this most important, most unbelievable, but absolutely true story. Everyone interested in Israel should read this book and know not only the facinating story, but learn about Rudolf G.Sonnnborn, one of the most important, yet most private of men, in Jewish history.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
There are only a few people who can qualify for nomination as "the person most responsible for the State of Israel being". One of those people is Rudolph G.Sonneborn. The only place you will ever read about him and his unique group, "the Sonneborn Institute", is in The Pledge. Leonard Slater "found" him and tells us of his importance in the creation of The State of Israel in this most important, most unbelievable, but absolutely true story. Everyone interested in Israel should read this book and know not only the facinating story, but learn about Rudolf G.Sonnnborn, one of the most important, yet most private of men, in Jewish history.
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