Menachem Begin


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A Life

Avi Shilon; Translated by Danielle Zilberberg and Yoram Sharett

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The first full-scale biography of one of the most important—and enigmatic—leaders in Israeli history

This riveting biography is the first to provide a satisfactory answer to the question, Who was Menachem Begin? Based on wide-ranging research among archival documents and on testimonials and interviews with Begin's closest advisers, the book presents a detailed new portrait ofIsrael's founding leader. Among the many topics Avi Shilon holds up to new light are Begin's antagonistic relationship with David Ben-Gurion, his controversial role in the 1982 Lebanon War, his unique leadership style, the changes in his ideology over the years, and the mystery behind the total silence he maintained at the end of his career. Through Begin's remarkable life, the book also recounts the history of the right-wing segment of Israeli society, a story essential to understanding the Israel of today.

Avi Shilon is an independent journalist and a Ph.D. student at Bar Ilan University. He is the op-ed page editor for Israel Hayom, Israel's most widely read and circulated newspaper. He lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.

"I read this book, which was written with immense talent and based on profound research, with great interest. This biography represents a decisive contribution to the truth."—Shimon Peres

“The most comprehensive and thorough biography published to date about Begin . . . will be of particular interest to American Jews”—Benny Morris, author of 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War

"Avi Shilon has beautifully documented Menachem Begin's remarkable life and explained his complex character; in addition, this well-translated biography provides important insights into Begin's historic prime ministry."—Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum 

"The first comprehensive biography about the leader and the man. . . . A pioneering event in its field."—Time Out Tel Aviv

“A fully realized, important portrait of a significant 20th-century leader.”—Kirkus, starred review

"Avi Shilon’s Menachem Begin is a welcome addition to the paucity of biographies of one of Israel’s most important figures, the country’s sixth prime minister."—Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post

 “This first comprehensive biography of Menachem Begin…reveals a man of great contradictions and influence in the shifting political developments of his time.”—Publishers Weekly

“Shilon masterfully details Begin’s life.”—Choice

Shilon succeeds in presenting evidence of varied perspectives and deepening the portrait of Begin the man as well as the political actor. . . . A very welcome contribution.”—Ylana N. Miller, The Historian

Finalist for the 2012 National Jewish Book Awards in the Biography, Autobiography, Memoir category.
ISBN: 9780300162356
Publication Date: November 27, 2012
584 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
48 b/w in three 8-page inserts