My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

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By (author) Ari Shavit, Read by Paul Boehmer

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  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Format: CD-Audio | 17 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 150mm x 42mm | 480g
  • Publication date: 19 November 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0385359594
  • ISBN 13: 9780385359597
  • Edition: Unabridged
  • Edition statement: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 341,417

Product description

"NEW YORK TIMES "BESTSELLER - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY "THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW "AND" THE ECONOMIST" Winner of the Natan Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award "An authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today" Not since Thomas L. Friedman's groundbreaking "From Beirut to Jerusalem" has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as "My Promised Land." Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts: both personal and national, both deeply human and of profound historical dimension. We meet Shavit's great-grandfather, a British Zionist who in 1897 visited the Holy Land on a Thomas Cook tour and understood that it was the way of the future for his people; the idealist young farmer who bought land from his Arab neighbor in the 1920s to grow the Jaffa oranges that would create Palestine's booming economy; the visionary youth group leader who, in the 1940s, transformed Masada from the neglected ruins of an extremist sect into a powerful symbol for Zionism; the Palestinian who as a young man in 1948 was driven with his family from his home during the expulsion from Lydda; the immigrant orphans of Europe's Holocaust, who took on menial work and focused on raising their children to become the leaders of the new state; the pragmatic engineer who was instrumental in developing Israel's nuclear program in the 1960s, in the only interview he ever gave; the zealous religious Zionists who started the settler movement in the 1970s; the dot-com entrepreneurs and young men and women behind Tel-Aviv's booming club scene; and today's architects of Israel's foreign policy with Iran, whose nuclear threat looms ominously over the tiny country. As it examines the complexities and contradictions of the Israeli condition, "My Promised Land" asks difficult but important questions: Why did Israel come to be? How did it come to be? Can Israel survive? Culminating with an analysis of the issues and threats that Israel is currently facing, "My Promised Land" uses the defining events of the past to shed new light on the present. The result is a landmark portrait of a small, vibrant country living on the edge, whose identity and presence play a crucial role in today's global political landscape. Praise for "My Promised Land" "This book will sweep you up in its narrative force and not let go of you until it is done. [Shavit's] accomplishment is so unlikely, so total . . . that it makes you believe anything is possible, even, God help us, peace in the Middle East."--Simon Schama, " Financial Times" " " "[A] must-read book."--Thomas L. Friedman, "The New York Times" " " "Important and powerful . . . the least tendentious book about Israel I have ever read."--Leon Wieseltier, "The New York Times Book Review " "Spellbinding . . . Shavit's prophetic voice carries lessons that all sides need to hear.""--The Economist" " " "One of the most nuanced and challenging books written on Israel in years.""--The Wall Street Journal" "From the Hardcover edition."

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Author information

Ari Shavit is a leading Israeli columnist and writer. Born in Rehovot, Israel, Shavit served as a paratrooper in the IDF and studied philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In the 1980s he wrote for the progressive weekly "Koteret Rashit, " in the early 1990s he was Chairperson of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and in 1995 he joined "Haaretz, " where he serves on the editorial board. Shavit is also a leading commentator on Israeli public television. He is married, has a daughter and two sons, and lives in Kfar Shmariahu.

Review quote

"I can think of no better time for a good book about Israel--the real Israel, not the fantasy, do-no-wrong Israel peddled by its most besotted supporters or the do-no-right colonial monster portrayed by its most savage critics. Ari Shavit, the popular "Haaretz" columnist, has come out with just such a book. . . . Shavit is one of a handful of experts whom I've relied upon to understand Israel ever since I reported there in the 1980s. What do all my Israeli analytical sources have in common? They all share a way of thinking about Israel--which is expressed with deep insight, compassion and originality in Shavit's must-read book--that to understand Israel today requires keeping several truths in tension in your head at the same time. . . . The uniqueness of Shavit's book is that when you're done with it you can understand, respect or love Israel--but not in a dogmatic or unthinking way, and not a fake or contrived Israel. Shavit celebrates the Zionist man-made miracle--from its start-ups to its gay bars--while remaining affectionate, critical, realistic and morally anchored. . . . His book is a real contribution to changing the conversation about Israel and building a healthier relationship with it. Before their next 90-minute phone call, both Barack and Bibi should read it."--Thomas L. Friedman, "The New York Times" "The most extraordinary book that I've read on [Israel] since Amos Elon's book called "The Israelis, "and that was published in the late sixties."--David Remnick, on "Charlie Rose" "Israel is not a proposition, it is a country. Its facticity is one of the great accomplishments of the Jews' history. . . . It is one of the achievements of Ari Shavit's important and powerful book to recover [that] feeling . . . and to revel in it, to restore the grandeur of the simple fact in full view of the complicated facts. "My Promised Land" startles in many ways, not least in its relative lack of interest in providing its readers with a handy politics.A