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!
Theodore Bekel is a master ,as good a reader as there can be. I only wish that he read in
my genre... The book itself is a masterpiece unbiased and tragic , humorous and
deeply sad . Always moving forward ,,,you can feel the beating hearts of the now dead
participants ... The hopes ,dreams ,hate ,fear . I'm not Jewish or Arabic but I was
there. Paul T.
For anyone interested in the Mid East conflict, you would not be wasting you time listening to this book. 5 stars.
Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.
I was really excited to start learning about the founding of the modern state of Israel, but this book contains so many anecdotes and detailed events that I got lost in the woods, and could not see the forest. Too many details to see the overall picture....perhaps my ignorance of many of the persons and villages named hampered my understanding....but I cannot help but think that an educated, well-read person like myself should have done better if the material had only been presented better....more information about the "big picture" and less about the little one. I can summarize this long audio in a few words...beginning in the 19th century, certain Jewish persons decided that there had to be a homeland for the Jews, that it had to be in the middle east, and following that decision a trinkle then a flood of Jews went there as they were able....after WWII the British had had enough of the middle east and its miseries, so they got out...and because of machinations and luck on the part of the Jews and several major blunders by the Arabs, who were disunited, the Jews were able to proclaim and defend their new homeland, Israel. Now, I knew that before I listened to the audio....and the only new knowledge I gained was that lots of people on both sides in many small battles killed each other...too many details are given that may be valuable to anyone who was there or who knew the participants, but for me, I would have preferred the book to be more coherent somehow.
Told from the Jewish perspective, but trying to be balanced it uncovers the human stories behind the events of the founding of Israel and the beginning of the struggle that continues today. I wish it could have provided more background. The story is hard to follow, as it's just a large number of individual accounts, rather than one person trying to create tell a cohesive story. It has its moments, but I wouldn?t recommend it, unless you really want to know what it was like living in Jerusalem during that time. I would have preferred something with more context.