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Israel (Persian)

“Gordis captures the essence of who Israel is, where it has come from, and why the Jewish state will—and must—continue to exist.  When I am asked “Is there one book to read about Israel?” I now have an answer.”
—Ambassador Dennis Ross, The Washington Institute, Special Middle East coordinator under President Bill Clinton and author of The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace and Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama

“The history of Israel is arguably the greatest story of modern times and telling it in a compact and compelling manner is an outstanding achievement. Daniel Gordis has accomplished this and more, rendering Israel’s history in rich prose, fascinating insights, and passion. His book will become an essential resource for scholars, students, and policy-makers, as well as a riveting read for anyone interested in the Jewish State.”
—Ambassador Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, and author of Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East and Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide

“Daniel Gordis has written a luminous history that tells the story of Israel not only through its statesmen and warriors but its artists and writers and poets. Gordis gives us the soul of Israel, and helps explain why the most hated country on the planet is also among the most beloved.”
—Yossi Klein Halevi, author of Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation

“Like Israel itself, Daniel Gordis’ Israel – A Concise History of a Nation Reborn – is audacious and unique.  It tells the breathtaking story of the third Jewish commonwealth from the very beginning to today.  Anyone interested in the history of Zionism will find profound insight in this much needed, fair and balanced book.”
—Ari Shavit, author of My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

Winner of the Jewish Book of the Year Award

The first comprehensive yet accessible history of the state of Israel from its inception to present day, from Daniel Gordis, “one of the most respected Israel analysts” (The Forward) living and writing in Jerusalem.

Israel is a tiny state, and yet it has captured the world’s attention, aroused its imagination, and lately, been the object of its opprobrium. Why does such a small country speak to so many global concerns? More pressingly: Why does Israel make the decisions it does? And what lies in its future?

We cannot answer these questions until we understand Israel’s people and the questions and conflicts, the hopes and desires, that have animated their conversations and actions. Though Israel’s history is rife with conflict, these conflicts do not fully communicate the spirit of Israel and its people: they give short shrift to the dream that gave birth to the state, and to the vision for the Jewish people that was at its core. Guiding us through the milestones of Israeli history, Gordis relays the drama of the Jewish people’s story and the creation of the state. Clear-eyed and erudite, he illustrates how Israel became a cultural, economic and military powerhouse—but also explains where Israel made grave mistakes and traces the long history of Israel’s deepening isolation.

With Israel, public intellectual Daniel Gordis offers us a brief but thorough account of the cultural, economic, and political history of this complex nation, from its beginnings to the present. Accessible, levelheaded, and rigorous, Israel sheds light on the Israel’s past so we can understand its future. The result is a vivid portrait of a people, and a nation, reborn.

To download a Reader’s Guide to Israel, click here.

To download suggested “Trials and Debates” related to Israel, click here.

To download “For Further Reading” related to Israel, click here.


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