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Abba Eban: An Autobiography Hardcover – 1977

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 628 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st ed edition (1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394493028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394493022
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #888,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Abba Eban is a fascinating person and his autobiography is the most enjoyable autobiography I've ever read. Although the book may seem rather long and Abba Eban may seem like not the most prominent 20th century figure, I can propose three reasons to read this book:
First, this book is about much more than just the life of Abba Eban. Abba Eban embodies a significant portion of Israeli history. In his autobiography he relates this history in first person. The book is less abstractly intellectual than his book _My People: The Story of the Jews_. Instead, Eban's autobiography focusses largely on the personalities who helped create Israel as Mr. Eban knew them. This means that one of the most sweeping and dramatic events of the 20th century comes alive through the eyes of one of its central figures.
Second, aside from being at the heart of the establishment and nurturing of Israeli statehood, Mr. Eban is one of this centuries foremost diplomats. Anyone with an interest in diplomacy or international relations will be thrilled with the inside view and personal analysis Mr. Eban gives. Eban discusses how he dealt with the down to earth Harry Truman, the volatile David Ben Gurion, the stubborn Golda Meir, and many more.
Third, Abba Eban writes in an engaging and insightful manner. Eban is a great story teller, using stunning descriptive writing, clever analogies, and plenty of dry wit. This may sound like an excessively strong endorsement, but I think the point is that Mr. Eban's command of language makes the stories he relates, fascinating in their own right, all the more powerful.
In conclusion, if you would enjoy a well written book with unique insights into the establishment and development of the State of Israel from the perspective of Israel's foremost statesman, then I believe you won't be dissapointed by Mr. Eban's splendid autobiography.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book on a whim because it was very cheap, and then, although I wasn't very excited about it, I thought I should read it so as not to waste my money. I'm glad I did because it turned out to be one of the most fascinating books on the craft, one could even say the art, of diplomacy that I've ever read. Eban was at the center of most of the events that led to the creation of the state of Israel and participated in its early years as a Jewish state and homeland. Eban gives an exciting picture of those times. He shows that diplomacy is a game of give and take with high stakes, the negotiations of which depend as much on the personalities of the leaders and their diplomats as the political events themselves. After reading this book, I have a much greater appreciation for the courage of diplomats who have to know when to issue an ultimatum, when to stand firm, when to compromise, and when to leave the table altogether. The work of these individuals can literally make the difference between war and peace and affects the security of us all. The book is extremely well-written and reads almost like an adventure story. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in the history of Israel or the workings of government and diplomacy.
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Format: Hardcover
Abba Eban was an enormously brilliant ,and thoughtful person. He was also the ardent champion of Israel in the international arena as it strove towards statehood and recognition. This book is a record of his life and struggle, and it is told with great insightfulness and a certain restrained humor of the kind he was known for. I found most moving the childhood story of his grandfather's educating him in Jewish learning, and how he orphaned from his father made his way by his own abilities as a student through Cambridge . His decision to forego what would have certainly been a great academic career and devote himself to the service of the Jewish people, marks the major decision of his life. The book becomes truly exciting when he tells the story of how Israel in the pre- state and early state period made its way forward.

Eban's story and the story of Israel taken together make this work an especially interesting one. But there is an additional element. Eban was not only a first- rate diplomat he was in a sense as his later books would show a ' philospher of diplomacy' And there are numerous invaluable insights in this regard, as well as vivid portraits of many of the significant personalities Eban encounters on his way.

A truly great autobiography.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A beautiful book relating the life of a man I have all of my life been in awe of. How interesting was his life story and the telling of the resettling and the installing of God's Israel as a Sate by the so called United Nations. Anyone interested in the history of Israel would be amiss to fail to read this one.
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Format: Hardcover
Exceptional writing, in a brilliant, clear and insightful manner is what makes this autobiography splendid. It helps that Abba Eban was in the center of Israeli political life for 3 decades, mostly centered in the foreign policy sphere. His detailed and colorful descriptions of encounters with foreign statesmen are priceless. There is also a sense of drama and tension that leaves you wanting to learn what happened even if you are familiar with the historical facts. Abba was an incredibly intelligent man who embodied the best ideals Israel had to offer. I really had a difficult time putting this book down. It was that good.
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