The story is great. It took me several tries to really get into it; this is not a book you can listen to in small intervals and expect to follow along. Once I put it on for a road trip and had about two hours of uninterrupted listening, I was all in.
Definitely would recommend.
I read this book over 18 years ago and it still is as good as I remember.
Now, with the excellent audio performance the story really comes alive.
Of course 5 stars
The birth of Israel is a complex and tragic history of the Jewish people. This book helps explain on small but monumental period in the history of the Hews and Israel. The performance was pure jewish story telling and lent a feel for the events and the people.
O Jerusalem was written with a focus on the individuals in the Jewish community during the seige of Jerusalem and the events leading up to the War of Independence of 1948. It was written in a journalistic style, not unlike "And the Beat Goes On", etc. I could not stop listening.
This narrative was a well-rounded account of the lives of the Sabras, including their romances, their jobs, such as military or intelligence, and the events surrounding the days leading up to the Israeli war of independence. Not all characters are able to be given a deep treatment, as there are so many individuals. Some of the Arab individuals are also covered, but mostly the destructive ones, such as the notorious Hajj Amin Al Huseini, the anti-Jewish Mufti of Jerusalem. The entire book had a simultaneous sense of hope and doom, which is probably what the Jews were feeling. The British had just announced that they were going to leave the area of the British Mandate, and no one knew what the aftermath would look like. This book also covered the incredible preparations made by the Jewish community under the leadership of the amazing David Ben Gurion. Also appreciated is the factual accuracy of events. However, make no mistake, this book is written from a Jewish, Western point of view. There are no Arab heroes, except perhaps for the venerable King Abdullah of Jordan.
Mr. Bikel has an amazing affinity for the Arabic, Hebrew, and Yiddish tongues. It was so genuine. Furthermore, he has a dramatic voice and intonation that makes one feel as if they are at a Shakespeare play and they just want to keep listening. I suspect he is a professional actor of many talents.
Courage under Fire
Never in my live I listened to a such astonishing story.
I could not wait to continue listening, I went from totally amazed to tears.
This book is a must for whom want know more about the founding of the state of Israel, and resourcefulness and creativity of the Jewish people in there battle for Jerusalem and there existence.
I felt like I was part of the history, day by day, sitting in on the war room meetings that changes the course of Jerusalem history
This is not a comprehensive history of the struggle for Jewish statehood following WWII, but it centers around the campaign to capture / hold Jerusalem. The historical figures Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Ehud Avriel, and even the leaders of the Arab nations provide the depth and richness that make the history come alive. It is not a technical piece about military strategy, it is a collection of very personal reflections from those who struggled to survive during this conflict.
If you want a story about military science... this may have a few tidbits for you.If you want to understand a slice of the people and times of 1948 Israel this book captures that very well.
Narrator is good too. He has an Israeli accent but speaks clearly and has a good story-telling tone and voice.
To take a subject as debated as the establishment of modern Israel and write what genuinely seems to be a well balanced book is in and of itself an impressive feet, but to do so in a well written narrative that holds the readers attention is amazing! Despite the length of this audio book, I never felt that it became bogged down. The readers voice and cadence well match the subject matter.
The only thing I would add if I could is that surely the print version of this book has maps in it. I wish Audible would offer those maps as part of the download. After listening for a few hours to the book I go back to the computer and try to find the locations the authors were writing about... But that is a complaint about the audio book format. I have absolutely no complaints about this book or the reader!