From the former editor in chief of Haaretz, the first in-depth, comprehensive biography of Ariel Sharon, the most dramatic and imposing Israeli political and military leader of the last 40 years.
The life of Ariel Sharon spans much of modern Israel’s history. A commander in the Israeli Army from its inception in 1948, Sharon participated in the 1948 War of Independence, played decisive roles in the 1956 Suez War and the Six-Day War of 1967, and is credited here with the shift in the outcome of the Yom Kippur War of 1973. After leaving the professional army, Sharon became a political leader and served in numerous governments, most prominently as the defense minister during the 1982 Lebanon War in which he bore "personal responsibility", according to the state’s commission of inquiry, for massacres of Palestinian civilians by Lebanese militia. As a general and as a politician, he championed the construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. But as prime minister, he performed a dramatic reversal: Orchestrating Israel’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Landau brilliantly chronicles Sharon’s surprising about-face, combining the immediacy of firsthand reportage with the analysis and independent insight of a historian’s perspective. Sharon suffered a stroke in January 2006 and remains in a persistent vegetative state. This biography recounts the life of the man who is considered by many to be Israel’s greatest military leader and political statesman, illustrating how Sharon’s leadership transformed Israel, and how his views were shaped by the changing nature of Israeli society.
©2014 David Landau (P)2014 Gildan Media LLC
"A thorough, extremely candid description and assessment of the military and political lives of the controversial Sharon, who has been in a vegetative state since a massive stroke in 2006. The author...displays a deep familiarity with the details and contexts of Sharon’s career...[and] is also adept in the descriptions of the labyrinthine political world of Israel during Sharon’s era. Splendid reporting, comprehensive research, and probing analysis inform this unblinking view of a complicated man and a sanguinary geography." (Kirkus Reviews)
"[Landau’s] thorough, balanced, and scrupulously fair biography makes clear why Sharon was capable of winning respect and admiration, even from his staunch political opponents….This is an outstanding, warts-and-all portrait of an arguably great, if not a particularly likable, Israeli leader." (Booklist)
"Landau, who previously collaborated with Israeli president Shimon Peres on his memoir, succeeds dutifully in bringing this multifaceted life to the page. With great research and noticeable interest, Landau depicts Ariel Sharon as a man who is more complex than any one of his multitude of titles..." (Publishers Weekly)
The Last Giant
Several. One of the most memorable had to be the description of the young general Arik running across the desert firing his pistol during the Sinai tank battle.
Arik obviously. With so many honorable mentions: Moshe Dayan and Menachem Begin to name two.
Arik the Conqueror.
The last of the bigger than life figures in Israel. Sharon is a highly interesting man.
It was little more than a series of facts. There was no attempt to really understand the man, the events in Israel, etc. Facts are fine but I was hoping for something more, like insight.
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