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 Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is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

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    54
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • CW
  • 04-07-15

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Wonderful book; hated the narration

Everyone should read this book, it is really excellent and balanced. Read it, whichever side of the argument you are on.

I am getting so sick of narrations with fake foreign accents and overly dramatic reading. I love great performances - for example Gerald Dickens narrating Charles Dickens. Just not guys adopting heavy fake accents. In this case it is really distracting.

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Great Theater

What disappointed you about My Promised Land?

Since the publisher or Audible has decided to present this book as theater I will view it as such. The narrator's studied Israeli accent was good enough for my inexpert ear. The script is a fascinating story and the writing only occasionally becomes tedious. However, as a drama I will take it as possibly factual or not and will look elsewhere for more insight into the subjects treated. I don't think I would have felt this way had I simply read the text or heard a straightforward reading.

What do you think your next listen will be?

The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly

How could the performance have been better?

Because I am viewing it as a theatrical performance with an only occasionally annoying theatrical accent, not much was wrong with the performance.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It has the very strong value of being a passionate statement by a well-known partisan Israeli journalist.

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A must read to understand Israel and its politics.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It is a great class in history and politics of a nation very hard to explain.
Still some things are left unexplained but this clears a lot of misunderstandings and assumptions.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Not a NOVEL

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

A good read

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

NOT A NOVEL