Moshe Sharett, Israel's second Prime Minister from 1953-55, its Foreign Minister from 1948-56, and one of the founders of the State of Israel, was at the centre of events in Israel and the Yishuv for over three decades. Under his leadership, the 'moderate' camp exerted a seminal influence on the politics and orientation of the young Jewish state.
This definitive biography of Sharett provides a needed challenge to the accepted view that stresses the dominant role and achievements of Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, and his activist supporters. Ben-Gurion, representative of the school of retaliation in relation to the Arabs, opposed Sharett's negotiative politics and forced his resignation. In this biography, Sheffer restores the reputation of Sharett and his followers.
Following Sharett's political life, the book provides an original detailed account of major episodes in the history of the Holy Land from the beginning of the twentieth century to the mid-1960s, using previously untapped sources. It tells of the hitherto untold struggles between the founding fathers of the Jewish state, particularly concerning peace with the Palestinian Arabs and the neighbouring Arab countries. It concludes that Sharett and his moderate friends constituted a realistic and
humane alternative to the activists led by Ben-Gurion, and it will provide a new source for future studies of the Yishuv and Israel.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 1082
Weight: 1346 g
Dimensions: 242 x 165 x 56 mm
Professor Sheffer ... has done a masterful job ... being the first fully fledged biography of Sharett, it has to be treated for the time being as the definitive work ... Relying mainly on Sharett's voluminous diaries and Jewish Agency and Foreign Ministry documents, the author tells the story with skill and objectivity ... Sheffer has managed to bring to life this fascinating and tragic figure, never sure of himself, always fearing Ben-Gurion, yet a master orator and
writer, an amazing raconteur, founder and builder of Israel's foreign service ... The book fulfills the expectations of those who followed its very long birth pangs. There is not much more to do after this since most of the relevant documents are in the public domain. There is little doubt that
Sharett himself would commend the writer for the depth of the analysis, the extensive use of his personal diaries and his very sympathetic treatment of him. * Jerusalem Post Literary Supplement *
The first, very much overdue biography of his life ... important and invaluable. * Times Higher Education Supplement *
a monumental book ... an openly apologetic work designed to rehabilitate its subject. * Times Literary Supplement, 15 August 1997 *
The main aim of this meticulously researched book is to restore the reputation of Sharett...well-written and voluminous study...Sheffer has provided an interesting portrait of Sharett. * Martin Kolinsky, Journal of Jewish Studies, Vol.48 No.2 1997 *
Sheffer's vast and copious biography, crammed with a mass of detail diligently gathered form an impressive range of sources...concentrates on Sharett's years in office...The author makes no bones about his admiration for this original and independent thinker...his book is unabashedly designed to rescue his reputation from his detractors and vindicate the diplomatic strategy he espoused. - Alain Silvera. Middle Eastern Studies.
Vividly written, extensively researched, engaging biography... not just a history of a single political figure but of his times, and it offerds a detailed and fascinating analysis... of the foundation and first two decades of the Israeli state. This is an outstanding narrative history, based on a careful scrutiny of primary and secondary sources, which should help to redress many of the prevailing accounts of Israeli political history. * Ritchie Ovendale, American Historical Review June 1999. *