Golda Meir was known as the Iron Lady well before Margaret Thatcher. Voted most admired woman in Britain and elsewhere, her leadership of Israel became a blue-print for the modern world. It defined the response to modern terrorism with the Munich massacre of eleven Israeli athletes taken hostage at the 1972 Olympics. It recast politics in the Middle East during the tense moments of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, prompting OPEC to start the oil crisis and global recession. Elinor Burkett has written the first authoritative life of Meir s exceptional and turbulent life. Many members of Meir s inner circle have gone on record for this biography about her influence and inspiring personality. Gaining privileged access to Israeli cabinet papers allowed Burkett to uncover many unknown aspects of Golda Meir s continuing mark on the Middle East. Golda Meir saw integrity as the currency of Israel s survival and political careerism as its blight. In 1973, Israel came close to surrender due to Moshe Dayan, her ambitious minister of defence. Meir kept the country together while battling cancer. Decades earlier, Golda Meir s tireless charm offensive on the USA forged the unlikely Washington-Jerusalem relationship at the cost of her native, Communist Russia. Privately she had affairs, refused to recognise one of her grandchildren and became estranged from her long-suffering husband. Golda Meir describes vividly how a young working-class girl from pogrom-ridden Russian Moldova became the first female leader of both the West and a left-wing nation. Her life defied the shackles of age, illness, fate, class and gender, and became a rich tribute to the power of the human spirit and its sacrifices.