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Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation

Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation [Kindle Edition]

Yossi Klein Halevi
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Winner of the Everett Family Jewish Book of the Year Award (a National Jewish Book Award) and the RUSA Sophie Brody Medal.

In Like Dreamers, acclaimed journalist Yossi Klein Halevi interweaves the stories of a group of 1967 paratroopers who reunited Jerusalem, tracing the history of Israel and the divergent ideologies shaping it from the Six-Day War to the present.

Following the lives of seven young members from the 55th Paratroopers Reserve Brigade, the unit responsible for restoring Jewish sovereignty to Jerusalem, Halevi reveals how this band of brothers played pivotal roles in shaping Israel’s destiny long after their historic victory. While they worked together to reunite their country in 1967, these men harbored drastically different visions for Israel’s future.

One emerges at the forefront of the religious settlement movement, while another is instrumental in the 2005 unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. One becomes a driving force in the growth of Israel’s capitalist economy, while another ardently defends the socialist kibbutzim. One is a leading peace activist, while another helps create an anti-Zionist terror underground in Damascus.

Featuring an eight pages of black-and-white photos and maps, Like Dreamers is a nuanced, in-depth look at these diverse men and the conflicting beliefs that have helped to define modern Israel and the Middle East.

About the Author

Yossi Klein Halevi is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and a contributing editor of the New Republic. An internationally respected commentator on Israeli and Middle Eastern affairs, he writes regularly for leading American publications, such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Affairs. He is author of At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for God with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land and Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Sarah, a landscape designer; they have three children.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2648 KB
  • Print Length: 616 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0060545763
  • Publisher: Harper (1 Oct 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #190,800 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A definitive account of post '67 Israel 29 Dec 2013
For any one ignorant about how the State of Israel developed from those heady days in June '67, this is the book to read. Two parallel ideologies are examined; the declining Kibbutz movement and the rising settler movement. Beautifully told through the eyes of the men of the 55th Paratroop Brigade who not only liberated Jerusalem but also were the first to cross back into Egypt in 73. Everything is laid bare, a fascinating book about seven men who played such a pivotal part in 40 years of Israel's history by sheer dint of fate and force of character.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, personal and realistic 9 Mar 2014
By rachel
A gripping book that offers true historical and personal accounts of real individuals who were a part of modern Israeli history and who shaped Israel as we know it today.
This book is for people who want to understand the history, the emotions and the influences upon Israeli soldiers, their families and their beliefs.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea, shame about the reality 30 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've read Yossi Klein Halevi's previous books, and found them well written and convincing. They were informed by personal experience and provided astute counter balancing perspectives from an individual in transition, as all good writers are constantly. And if you hear a BUT coming, here it is: perhaps the author has taken on too big a task, but his writing in this book is not as consummate as his previous works, leaving the feeling with this reader that he was in a hurry to make his point.
And what is that point? That the kibbutz movement had run its course but its ideological drives and it's pragmatic methodologies could be and were inspirations for the political antithesis of that founding movement, the settler movement. So, for as much as the author really tries to find a balance between these two movements, in the end it is clear where his money is. And it comes from the way he writes almost lyrically about the settlers, replete with biblical references and quotes. And it comes from how and via whom he chooses to conclude the book, a religious settler.
Well you might say, he had to make a choice and this was it.
Well no, if you set out to be a writer looking at two sides of as complex a coin as this one, it's better that you leave the reader with something to choose for herself/himself. Here the complexity of the real message is somewhat obscured by using the paratroopers stories as the platform. But what you're left with is the feeling that that is really incidental, and not the essential thrust of the book at all.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  123 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Think you know what an IDF soldier believes in and thinks? Think again. 17 Nov 2013
By John Galt - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Jews have been praying for "next year in Jerusalem" for 2,000 years. Finally, thanks to these paratroopers Jerusalem is captured in the 1967 war and is now the capital of Israel, although no other country has located its embassy there. Some paratroopers are religious and see the expansion of Israel into the conquered lands of the 1967 war as a logical and a religious duty. Others want to return these lands (Sinai, Golan Heights and Judea/ Samaria) as fast as possible and so it continues today.

The author chooses a small group of paratroopers, who have political views from all 360 degrees (including one IDF soldier who all but joins the Arabs against Israel and is imprisoned when caught) to capture the various political positions of the Israeli people as a whole.

If the book had 5 volumes, then various other ethnic, political and religious Jews would be represented. For Instance, kibbutz members are prominent but the word Moshav never appears. Both these forms of living arrangements are still extant in Israel with roughly an equal number of members. Moshe Dayan was from a Moshav. Ashkenazi Jews are the center of attention and other volumes could deal with Sephardic and Mizrahi elements.

Instead of writing 550 pages of the differences of opinion among Israelis toward Jerusalem, war, settlements etc. that would read like a typical top down history, the author lets you get to know a few individuals so that you see the conflicts Israelis have amongst themselves - from the bottom up so to speak.

Whatever your views on the current situation in Israel, you are presented with a wide array of viewpoints that are strongly held by these courageous soldiers. These viewpoints are often diametrically opposite, but the reader gains perspectives they may not have considered.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Indian Israelophile's Review. 14 Nov 2013
By Ranger - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Most Indians normally love and admire Israel and the idea of Israel, wish our people were as enterprising as Israelis - and I am no different. I have read many books on Israel, including two excellent books on Israeli entrepreneurship - The Start-Up Nation and The Israel Test by the brilliant George Gilder as well as a book on Israeli history, "O Jesusalem" by Dominique Lappiere . But I have been looking for a "Big Book" on Israel, a book that explains the whole of Israel, that connects its past to its present. This book, by Mr.Halevi addresses that need. Other reviewers have already discussed its story, so I dont need to go into it. I will just say that very rarely have I read a non-fiction book, and a big book, that has been so completely satisfying. I cheered for the heroes and anti-heroes of this book, eagerly turned pages to know what they did and what happened to them - and through their lives, I got to learn more about a country I really like and admire - Israel. Bravo !!
32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever written about Modern Israel! 9 Oct 2013
By Robert Avrech - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Like Dreamers" is the non-fiction "War and Peace" of the Jewish people, and the modern Jewish State. As Tolstoy etched an epic portrait of Russian society in his classic novel, Yossi Klein Halevi also works on a giant historical canvas. And like all great story tellers, he understands that the best way to tell history is through the individuals who live through and often author that history.

This stunning volume traces the lives of seven paratroopers from the 55th, the brigade that was the tip of the spear in the '67 battle for Jerusalem, and later the brigade that crossed the Suez Canal in the '73 Yom Kippur War, thereby turning disaster into victory. There are left-wing peace activists, and religious Zionists, kibbutz socialists, free market entrepreneurs, a gruff conceptual artist who was wounded in the battle for Jerusalem, a neurotic but brilliant musician--Israel's Bob Dylan--who died far too young, and a traitor who went to Syria in order to join anti-Israel terrorists. These men, in one way or another, played a vital role in the birth of the post-Six Day War Israel.

The title "Like Dreamers" comes from Psalm 126, Shir Hamaalot, hayinu k'cholmim, "When the Lord returned the exiles to Zion, we were like dreamers."

The spine of Halevi's book is that Israel's fate is based on two conflicting utopian dreams within the Zionist movement, the religious Zionists, and the secular left-wing kibbutzniks. These men--all Ashkenazi Jews--fought together to defend the state of Israel, and then between wars, these same men, some of them close friends, continued to fight to preserve their personal vision of the Jewish State.

If you want to understand modern Israel in all its glorious complexity, this is the book to read. A great work that sets a new standard for Jewish history.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History you can't put down! 1 Oct 2013
By Karen A. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Totally magical and realistic at the same time. The book embraces you with its detailed novelistic portraits of events and characters. Reading it I marveled at my ignorance of events that I thought I knew and gained an appreciation for having lived through momentous times.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating 7 Oct 2013
By Jonathan - Published on
One of the best, if not the best book I have read in recent years. Like Dreamers is truly captivating and quite the pager turner. I applaud Klein Halevi on his work which was surly painstaking, but ultimately very rewarding.
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