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: 7,284

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 Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is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

"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. [Shavit] has an undoctrinaire mind. He comes not to praise or to blame, though along the way he does both, with erudition and with eloquence; he comes instead to observe and to reflect. This is the least tendentious book about Israel I have ever read. It is a Zionist book unblinkered by Zionism. It is about the entirety of the Israeli experience. Shavit is immersed in all of the history of his country. While some of it offends him, none of it is alien to him. His extraordinary chapter on the charismatic and corrupt Aryeh Deri, and the rise of Sephardic religious politics in Israel, richly illustrates the reach of his understanding. . . . There is love in "My Promised Land, "but there is no propaganda. . . . The author of "My Promised Land" is a dreamer with an addiction to reality. He holds out for affirmation without illusion. Shavit's book is an extended test of his own capacity to maintain his principles in full view of the brutality that surrounds them."--Leon Wieseltier, "The New York Times Book Review" "One of the most nuanced and challenging books written on Israel in years . . . [The] book's real power: On an issue so prone to polemic, Mr. Shavit offers candor."--"The Wall Street Journal" "Shavit is a master storyteller. . . . Shavit's retelling of history jars us out of our familiar retrospections, reminds us (and we do need reminders) that there are historical reasons why Israel is a country on the edge. . . . ["My Promised Land" is] required reading for both the left and the right