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My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel | [Ari Shavit]

My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

Not since Thomas L. Friedman's groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts.
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Natan Book Award

An authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today.

Not since Thomas L. Friedman's groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts: both personal and national, both deeply human and of profound historical dimension.

©2013 Random House Audio (P)2013 Ari Shavit

What the Critics Say

“Shavit's provocative book avoids the clichés typical of some works about the Middle East, and the audio version benefits from Paul Boehmer's superb presentation.” (AudioFile)

“One of the most nuanced and challenging books written on Israel in years . . . [The] book’s real power: On an issue so prone to polemic, Mr. Shavit offers candor.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“The most extraordinary book that I’ve read on [Israel] since Amos Elon’s book called The Israelis, and that was published in the late sixties.” (David Remnick)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (329 )
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4.3 (286 )
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4.1 (282 )
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Performance
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  •  
    David Enzel Chevy Chase, MD USA 01-04-14
    David Enzel Chevy Chase, MD USA 01-04-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
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    78
    19
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    8
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    "Insightful; Thought-Provoking; A Bit Long"
    What made the experience of listening to My Promised Land the most enjoyable?

    I learned a lot about the history of the State of Israel and where the country is now from someone in his late 50s who has witnessed a lot and researched many aspects of Israel he did not personally experience.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Although Mr. Shavit candidly discusses Israel's shortcomings it is clear throughout the book that he loves Israel and wants it succeed - as do I. Although I understand Israel better than I did before I listened to the audiobook, the path forward for Israel remains foggy and hard to see. This is not the fault of the author, but it does in my opinion argue for a shorter, more tightly written book. Some of the book sounds like stream of consciousness.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator has an accent similar to the accent of the author. I feel the accent made the audiobook harder to enjoy. I know the author is Israeli and don't need to reminded of that with every word narrated.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    The book is too long to listen to all in one setting. The book is also in my opinion significantly longer than necessary. The book would have benefited from a good editor. For example, the discussion about the Tel Aviv night club is much longer than necessary. Yes, there is a lesson there but the club is one venue in a city with many night spots.


    Any additional comments?

    I am glad I listened to the book. It combines a love of Israel along with a rare and candid overview of the country's weaknesses.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Siid 05-13-15
    Siid 05-13-15 Member Since 2013
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    48
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    "A must read"

    It is a must-read for anyone who has ever felt curious about what was is and will be Israel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joyce bridge louisville, ky, US 04-18-15
    joyce bridge louisville, ky, US 04-18-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    "Insightful and engaging"

    This book opened my eyes, but troubled me.
    Illuminated the essence of human conflict.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cristine Wilson-Armour 04-07-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Educational and entertaining."

    Very informative. I learned a lot about the history of the state of Israel. I enjoyed the narrator's accent as well. He made me feel like I was with the author the whole time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony P. 03-29-15
    Tony P. 03-29-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not really a story of Israel..."
    Would you try another book from Ari Shavit and/or Paul Boehmer?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    This isn't a story of Israel. It is a severely skewed tale of a devout leftist. Every story is defined by some negative account that is actually minor in the grand scheme of things but is central to this ashamed Jew. Every account leading up to Israel's independence highlights Jewish war crimes while barely mentioning any involvement of Palestinine atrocities. Embarrassing. I could only stand it for six hours. So, to be fair, this review doesn't cover the final 2/3 of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roberto Capuano 03-15-15 Listener Since 2009
    ratings
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    "Israel explained "

    This book manages to articulate many of the ideas I have towards Israel, its founding, Zionism, Israeli history and society. A superb analysis of the past, present and future of the Jewish people. The book provides a very useful tool kit to understand the region and the eternal conflict of the land. Entertaining, thoughtful, complete.

    This is the first audio book I've ever listened to and I feel I found a new of learning

    Great experience

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan 02-19-15
    Alan 02-19-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    3
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    "As important a book on Israel as I have ever read"

    This is a book that should be on the required reading list by everyone who either love or hate the role Israel plays in the Middle East and the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon 01-08-15
    Sharon 01-08-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Must Read For Anyone Fascinated by the Miracle o"
    If you could sum up My Promised Land in three words, what would they be?

    miracle
    challenging
    dynamic


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ari Shavit, the author, who pulls together the story of modern Israel from a multidimensional perspective and leaves the reader with a sense of excitement, fascination and confidence.


    What does Paul Boehmer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Paul Boehmer reads the story with enthusiasm, sincerity and just the right intonations.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes, when author Shavit brings all the varied currents he has elucidated, together, revealing the incredible miracle of modern day Israel and Israelis, he brought tears of admiration and incredible pride, to my eyes.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish that everyone would read this wonderful book, and especially for anyone who is Jewish , Ari Shavit writes with such depth and intelligence, making sense of a highly complex and challenging situation, and he does so in an interesting and easily readable way. At times his writing is sheer poetry. If you want to gain a real insight into the Israeli psyche, you can do no better than to read Ari Shavit's book: Israel, The Promise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meryl Ettelson 10-10-14 Member Since 2015
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    2
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    "Great book; unbeatable narration"
    What made the experience of listening to My Promised Land the most enjoyable?

    The information on Israel is interesting and surprising. The narrator is expressive and adds greatly to the enjoyment of the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Kelly Harrisburg, PA 09-09-14
    J. Kelly Harrisburg, PA 09-09-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
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    Story
    "Outstanding"
    Where does My Promised Land rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best I've listened to... or read... on the subject.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought it gave a very balanced view of Israel as it is today... a rare perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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