- Hardcover: 282 pages
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (May 12, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1442249463
- ISBN-13: 978-1442249462
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,319,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ben-Gurion: His Later Years in the Political Wilderness
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In the final years of David Ben-Gurion’s life, he lived in the Negev, marginalized from the circles of Israeli political and social power. Based on interviews and Ben-Gurion’s personal archives, this deeply researched examination of Ben-Gurion’s philosophy and actions as a state-builder articulates his role as a framer of Zionism and illuminates the political and social developments that shaped Israel from its inception up to the Yom Kippur War, which broke out just months before Ben-Gurion’s death in December 1973. Shilon’s distinctive focus on Ben-Gurion’s final years opens for readers a heretofore unexamined chapter in his life, revealing how he coped with his marginalization even as he continued to press his distinctive, and increasingly contrarian, vision of the Jewish state. This is a fascinating biography, both for what it reveals about a statesman in his years of decline and for its insights into decisive moments in Israel’s history. A translation from Hebrew, this [is a] perceptive and engaging study. . . .
Summing Up: Recommended. General readers through faculty. (CHOICE)
Avi Shilon has uncovered a little known period in Israeli history – warts and all.... He has reminded us of Ben-Gurion’s uniqueness, his flaws and his greatness. It is easy to either love him or to hate him. Shilon has injected a realistic complexity into the imagery of this enigmatic and probably shy man who – without exaggeration – changed the course of Jewish history. (Fathom)
[T]his book should be seen as an important contribution to the growing library of works on the 'Old Man'and his outstanding role in Jewish history.... Shilon’s most important contribution is his examination of areas largely neglected by previous biographers. He discusses at length Ben Gurion’s efforts to write the history of modern Israel. (Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs)
David Ben-Gurion comes alive in this volume, not as a man of action but as a man in decline, increasingly marginalized and, in the end, living in near-isolation on the periphery of the society that he himself had done so much to create. But Shilon’s fine portrait of a fading octogenarian nevertheless casts a revealing light on the unchanging personality of the man whose zealousness had once been of decisive historical importance. (Allan Arkush, professor of Judaic Studies and History, Binghamton University)
About the Author
Dr Avi Shilon is a historian and journalist, whose articles have been published in all of Israel's major newspapers. He currently writes a weekly column in Ha'aretz.
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Top customer reviews
I'll quote an example: Albeit his retirement, .....he wanted to pass on the king's throne to Eshkol, while sewing for himself the cloak of the profit, the king's mentor" (page 12).
On page 111: "the memories of his ideological struggles as prime minister....were often drought with personal circumstances as well".
There are so many bloopers - mostly incorrect use of prepositions and conjunctions, that only a native speaker of English can manage to master, that the book becomes effortful to read.
I plead with all future Israeli authors: insist on having your work proofread by a native speaker of English before it is published. These kind of errors tend to spoil the truly excellent work produced by many Israeli novelists and non-fiction writers.