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Golden Hour Books

Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn by Daniel Gordis

Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn by Daniel Gordis

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Winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Book of the Year, the first comprehensive yet accessible history of the state of Israel from its inception to present day, from “one of the most respected Israel analysts” (The Forward) living and writing in Jerusalem

Israel is a tiny state, and yet since its creation, it has captured the world’s attention, earned its admiration, and often, been the object of its opprobrium. Why is so much of the international community focused on a small country like Israel? Why are Israelis so deeply divided on so many key issues? Why does Israel make the decisions it does? And what lies in its future?

We cannot answer these questions until we understand Israel’s people-their hopes and disappointments, their accomplishments and missteps, and the enduring questions that animate their conversations and guide their actions. Weaving together historical documents, letters, and interviews, as well as Gordis’s own intimate knowledge of the country and its people, Israel tells the story of the idea of Israel-when idea of a Jewish state originated, how the dream was transformed into reality and how Israel’s history has unfolded-and why. Israel probes the soul of both a people and a country that have long triumphed over adversity, but which still face grave-some say insurmountable-challenges.

As he guides us through the milestones of Israeli history, Gordis also recounts many of the stories that are central to how Israelis understand themselves and their country. He introduces the passionate and formidable personalities that pioneered the country and shaped its pivotal moments. Gordis illustrates how Israel became a cultural, economic and military powerhouse-but he also explains where Israel made grave mistakes, and traces the long history of Israel’s international isolation. Clear-eyed and authoritative, Gordis illustrates that beyond all else, Israel’s prime purpose-and its major accomplishment-have been the modern rebirth of the Jewish people.

With Israel, Gordis offers us a brief but thorough history of this complex nation, from its beginnings to the present. Accessible, level-headed, and rigorous, Israel sheds light on Israel’s past so we can understand its present and future. The result is a vivid portrait of a people, and a nation, reborn.

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