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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 Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is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 Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is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 (354 )
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4.1 (301 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 04-05-14
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 04-05-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wither Israel?"
    What did you like best about My Promised Land? What did you like least?

    Part oral history and part op ed piece, the author certainly offers some uncompromising positions on what he perceives as the enduring resiliency of Israel as well as its transgressions. Using the analogy of a grown up child having thrown off the yoke of its parents, Shavit argues that Israel is at a crossroads and that the values that once served Israel so well are now either in danger of being lost or corrupted by a failure to achieve a moral and practical solution to achieving security and a settlement with the Palestinians. Interesting stuff - if you buy his arguments. There is no real middle ground here and you will find yourself either totally agreeing or not.


    What was most disappointing about Ari Shavit’s story?

    Ostensibly a history of Israel, most key events are only given a cursory treatment. I was looking for something a little more in depth and didn't find it here. Shavit links the birth and growth of Israel with stories from his ancestors but I didn't really find this vey interesting or compelling.


    Did Paul Boehmer do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    There is only the authors voice. Some other reviews I read we're put off by the Israeli accent of the narrator but I thought this added a level of authenticity to what is essentially, an oral history.


    Did My Promised Land inspire you to do anything?

    Not really. Would still like to read a more in depth history of Israel that this book didn't satisfy.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karin 07-25-15
    Karin 07-25-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Best book in a LONG time"

    Loved this book. It brings a larger, flexible perspective without oversimplifying a very complex situation. Realistic! Highly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary McNulty 07-03-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Important perspective"

    Quite a great historical presentation of Israel's recent history shedding light on the present day tensions in the area. Seems to be a balanced view. Well read by Mr. Boehmer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan 06-24-15
    Alan 06-24-15
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    "Fantastic, poetic, nuts and bolts."

    An amazing story told by an incredibly perceptive person. A must for anyone wanting a trustworthy guide through this complicated landscape.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Shalit 06-07-15
    H. Shalit 06-07-15

    havi_ga

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    "Who approved this narration?"

    Interesting book but the worse narration ever. The fake foeign accent was made worse by constant mispronounciation, really annoying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Siid 05-13-15
    Siid 05-13-15 Member Since 2013
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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
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    "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
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    "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
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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

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