Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation Paperback – November 4, 2014
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
*Starred Review* It is probably the most iconic photograph of the 1967 Six-Day War—a group of Israeli paratroopers gazing upward with a look of wonder at the sacred Western Wall, the surviving remnant of the temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. These were men of Brigade 55, a reserve unit primarily responsible for liberating the wall and seizing East Jerusalem from Jordanian control. The photo and the Israeli victory engendered an immediate sense of pride, joy, and euphoria that enveloped Israeli and Diaspora Jews, left and right, secular and religious. Since then, of course, the conquest of Jerusalem and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) has been rather a poisoned pill, dividing Israel politically as it rules over a huge Arab population. Halevi is an American-born Israeli journalist and a promoter of Jewish-Arab reconciliation. Here he tracks the subsequent lives of seven of the Brigade 55 members. Some became staunch proponents of settlement activity on Palestinian land and some became members of the left-wing Peace Now movement. One even helped create an anti-Zionist underground movement. Halevi succeeds in his broader goal of linking these men and their families to Israel’s history during the past five decades. This is a beautifully written and sometimes heartbreaking account of these men, their families, and their nation. --Jay Freeman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Powerful…. a textured, beautifully written narrative…. There is much to admire in this book, especially Mr. Halevi’s skill at getting inside the hearts and minds of these seven men.” (Ethan Bronner, New York Times)
“Mr. Halevi’s masterly book brings us into [the]…debate and the lives of those who live it, not through fiction but through a factual account illuminated by his own intelligence and empathy.” (Elliott Abrams, Wall Street Journal)
“Brilliant.” (David Laskin, USA Today)
“Like Dreamers is a big book, perhaps the big book on Israel we have been waiting for…. [It] is a remarkable feat of reporting, thrilling, painful, and brilliantly recounted, and an unparalleled portrait of Israel’s last five decades.” (Don Futterman, Daily Beast)
“A magnificent book, one of the two or three finest books about Israel I have ever read…. Nothing explains more eloquently why Israel, more than most any other country, lives or dies based on the power and justice of its animating ideas.” (Jeffrey Goldberg, Bloomberg News)
“Yossi Klein Halevi has written the Israeli epic.” (Michael Oren, best-selling author of Six Days of War and Israeli Ambassador to Washington)
“Like Dreamers is quite simply the best book about modern Israel I have ever read.” (Jonathan Rosen, author of Joy Comes in the Morning.)
“Yossi Klein Halevi has long been the most incisive and eloquent journalist writing from Israel for an American audience. This is his masterpiece. ” (Samuel G. Freedman, author of Jew vs. Jew)
“Like Dreamers is at once magisterial and enthralling, observed with the sharp eye of a master journalist, the patience of a serious historian and the style of an exceptional storyteller.” (Zev Chafets, author of Roger Ailes: Off Camera)
“A fascinating study of modern Israel.” (New York Post)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This is one of the several things I liked about how Halevi tells this story. While the major, famous names: Ben-Gurion, Rabin, Sharon, Begin, etc., are part of it, they are never the focus, never the movers of the story. The focus is always on the lives of the paratroopers. This gives it the feel of bottom-up history, rather than a history of ‘great men.’ And that provides a more authentic and personal connection to the events and lives of those affected by the events.
The narrative is at once exhilarating, aspirational, sad, poignant, funny, and thought-provoking. The first half tracks the lives of several of the individuals of the paratrooper brigade that helped to capture Jerusalem during the Six Day War. From their childhood to the 67 war, the narrative builds towards the capture and reunification of Jerusalem. This is presented as the apex of Israeli unity. The jubilation, the exhilaration, the joy of the moment: the overnight shift from facing annihilation to redeeming the 2,000-year-old dream of Jewish history.
The second half of the book, though, walks through how this vision of unity quickly fades—both between these individuals and within the nation. In this way, the author captures the diverse and divergent visions of the Israeli left and right, the Peace Now-ers and Greater Israel-ers, the kibbtuzniks and the settlers, the secular and the religious. And by focusing on particular individuals, Halevi shows how these divisions and categories break down and intertwine. Individuals—and their nations—are far more complex and complicated then a set of abstract ideological views. By showing us, through the lives of individuals, how their ideas and views developed, changed, and morphed in the face of a changing world, it gives a depth and humanity to the competing narratives of Israel (within Israel). It shows an abounding respect for these different ways to be Israeli, to be Zionist, to be Jewish.
However, the second half of the book, which is really the more important half, is marred by constant shifting back and forth between the individuals and their lives post-conquest, and how those lives reflected (and were changed by) Israel's circumstances and the rise of worldwide sympathy for the Palestinian cause. At first, it was a matter of constantly readjusting gears as he switches between the sagas of the individuals, but at some point it just become frustrating that the line of each person's life stops and we pick up with someone else, only to experience the same thing later on. There are some wonderful moments throughout the book, but I found the constant switching hard to take - even though I can't think of a better way to do it, as the individuals' lives kept interacting over time.
A worthwhile read, but a difficult one.