Avner, born in Manchester, England, arrived in Palestine in 1947 as a dedicated 19-year-old Zionist, on the eve of the birth of the Jewish state. He eventually entered Israel’s foreign service and served as speechwriter, secretary, and advisor to four Israeli Prime Ministers — Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, and Menachem Begin. This often-fascinating insider’s account of the careers and personalities of these leaders is a semiautobiographical rendering of Avner’s own experiences during critical episodes in Israeli history, especially during the War of Independence. Occasionally, Avner’s narrative is overly gossipy, but for the most part this is a revealing story of how these men operated in moments of both calm and crisis. Avner reserves his greatest admiration for Begin, and his near-worship of the man is likely to discomfit many in Israel and in the U.S. Overall, this book provides valuable insights into many of the key events and personalities in the history of Israel. --Jay Freeman
"A front-row seat to the drama of Israeli statecraft in moments of crisis and triumph, tragedy and joy. I couldn't put it down."
--Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal"One of the most remarkable accounts we are ever likely to get of how Israel has been governed over the decades...the ultimate insider's account."
--David Horowitz, The Jerusalem Post"A must-read for anyone seeking to understand Israel."
--Dore Gold, Former Israeli Ambassador to the UN"...the rare kind of history which comes alive for any reader, and will stay with them long after they finish the book."
--Samuel Lewis, Former US Ambassador to Israel