My Promised Land

My Promised Land

Hardback Spiegel & Grau

By (author) Ari Shavit

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  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
  • Format: Hardback | 480 pages
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 236mm x 36mm | 771g
  • Publication date: 19 November 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0385521707
  • ISBN 13: 9780385521703
  • Illustrations note: CHAPTER-OPENING PHOTOS
  • Sales rank: 3,664

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 Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is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"

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Author information

Ari Shavit is a leading Israeli journalist, a columnist for "Haaretz, " and a commentator on Israeli public television.

Review quote

"This is the epic history that Israel deserves--beautifully written, dramatically rendered, full of moral complexity. Ari Shavit has made a storied career of explaining Israel to Israelis; now he shares his mind-blowing, trustworthy insights with the rest of us. It is the best book on the subject to arrive in many years."--Franklin Foer, editor, "The New Republic" "A beautiful, mesmerizing, morally serious, and vexing book. I've been waiting most of my adult life for an Israeli to plumb the deepest mysteries of his country's existence and share his discoveries, and Ari Shavit does so brilliantly, writing simultaneously like a poet and a prophet. "My Promised Land" is a remarkable achievement."--Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent, "The Atlantic" " " "Ari Shavit's "My Promised Land" is without question one of the most important books about Israel and Zionism that I have ever read. Both movingly inspiring and at times heartbreakingly painful, "My Promised Land" tells the story of the Jewish state as it has never been told before, capturing both the triumph and the torment of Israel's experience and soul. This is the book that has the capacity to reinvent and reshape the long-overdue conversation about how Israel's complex past ought to shape its still-uncertain future."--Daniel Gordis, author of "Saving Israel "and Koret Distinguished Fellow at Shalem College, Jerusalem "With the heart of a storyteller and the mind of a historian, Ari Shavit has written a powerful and compelling book about the making of modern Israel. No country is more emotionally connected to the United States, and no country's fate matters more to many Americans. And yet until Shavit's "My Promised Land, " it has been growing more difficult to sense the character of Israel through all the caricatures. This book is vital reading for Americans who care about the future, not only of the United States but of the world."--Jon Meacham, author of "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Po