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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 Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is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

Critic Reviews

“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 Ratings

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Best book about Israel

As a diaspora Jew I was always taught Israel's history in a romantic and naive way. The author helped me come to terms with the reality of Israel's past, present, and future.
It has also a great performance by the narrator. Kudos to both.

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Fascinating, Poignant and Smart

I know a fair amount about Israel to start. I cannot express how much I appreciate the enrichment of my understanding provided by this book. Not only do I deeply admire those who founded Israel but I am touched and saddened by the tragedy that it seems to represent.

Shavit is a little preachy but, it adds an emotional tone that brings the book to life. His personal relationships and journalistic experience a rich and lively. As a person trying to decide how to feel about the situation of Israel and the Palestinians, I consider this story to be essential.

I will add that I don't think he portrays the negative aspects of the Palestinians as enthusiastically as he does those of Israel. Not enough to make it feel polemic or push any buttons, but still a little less balanced that I think would be fair.

As for the narration which has been criticized for its accent, I cannot disagree more. I thought the narration was terrific.

The accent he used was both interesting and helpful. It gave the story a greater sense of place and was pleasant to the ear. I was/am astonished to find that he's not an Israeli. While I have no idea what a native would think of his accent, it never sounded false to me.

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Stimulating and insightful

Shavit is an engaging writer and the vignettes he paints give the reader an insight into the diversity of Israel and of Israeli life.

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Informative, Insightful and Inspiring

I'm a relative novice as to the history of and situation in Israel. Shavit's book provided a wonderful and current primer on one of the worlds most contested pieces of real estate. I felt tossed between the rights of both the Jews and the Palestinians as the author makes powerful arguments for both camps. I can't say the book entirely changed my opinion, but I gained valuable insights and it has left me wanting to learn so much more.

I found the narration to be excellent. Boehmer has an outstanding voice and managed pronunciations in all languages perfectly.

This book is a MUST for anyone who wants to form their own opinions about Israel
without being continually influenced by a biased world media.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Insightful and engaging

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