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Thirteen Days in September  By  cover art

Thirteen Days in September

By: Lawrence Wright
Narrated by: Mark Bramhall, Lawrence Wright
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Publisher's summary

ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW’ S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

A gripping day-by-day account of the 1978 Camp David conference, when President Jimmy Carter persuaded Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat to sign the first peace treaty in the modern Middle East, one which endures to this day.

With his hallmark insight into the forces at play in the Middle East and his acclaimed journalistic skill, Lawrence Wright takes us through each of the thirteen days of the Camp David conference, illuminating the issues that have made the problems of the region so intractable, as well as exploring the scriptural narratives that continue to frame the conflict. In addition to his in-depth accounts of the lives of the three leaders, Wright draws vivid portraits of other fiery personalities who were present at Camp David–including Moshe Dayan, Osama el-Baz, and Zbigniew Brzezinski–as they work furiously behind the scenes. Wright also explores the significant role played by Rosalynn Carter.

What emerges is a riveting view of the making of this unexpected and so far unprecedented peace. Wright exhibits the full extent of Carter’s persistence in pushing an agreement forward, the extraordinary way in which the participants at the conference—many of them lifelong enemies—attained it, and the profound difficulties inherent in the process and its outcome, not the least of which has been the still unsettled struggle between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

In Thirteen Days in September, Wright gives us a resonant work of history and reportage that provides both a timely revisiting of this important diplomatic triumph and an inside look at how peace is made.

©2014 Lawrence Wright (P)2014 Random House Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

One of the New York Times Top Ten Best Books of the Year

“A magnificent book [from] one of our finest nonfiction writers. . . . In his minute-by-minute account of the talks Wright intersperses a concise history of Egyptian-Israeli relations dating from the story of Exodus. Even more important is Wright's understanding that Sadat, Begin and Carter were not just political leaders, but exemplars of the Holy Land's three internecine religious traditions." - Joe Klein, New York Times Book Review, front page

“An engrossing chronicle of Carter’s marathon peace negotiations with Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat at Camp David . . . an illuminating view of a vital event that has been all but forgotten—and of a single-minded, even messianic president whose White House years have been denigrated and discredited . . . In examining the three, Wright is both fascinated and fair-minded, seeing men of faith and fortitude, and ultimately of vision, with stark similarities and even starker differences. . . . A wonderful book.”—David M. Shribman, Boston Globe