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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book, 18 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Prime Ministers (Hardcover)
Anyone who is interested in the politics and history of Israel will not be able to put this book down. The first half of this book, which deals with the period from the foundation of the State of Israel up to 1977, is gripping enough. But the second half, in which Avner paints his portrait of Menachem Begin, is utterly spellbinding. Begin is revealed as a man of immense integrity and intellect, a politician of rare pedigree who articulated the Zionist idea more passionately and more persuasively than anyone before or since. If it was one of Avner's goals to play a part in elevating Begin from controversial Israeli Prime Minister to one of the great heroes of Jewish history, then I believe he has succeeded.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Scribe's View, 18 Dec 2011
This review is from: The Prime Ministers (Hardcover)
Born and raised in Manchester, England, Avner emigrated in 1947 to what was then Palestine and shortly became Israel. Because of his natural command of English, Avner served as a nuance-speechwriter for four of the first five Prime Ministers of Israel during the dramatic formative years of the country. During this period he was not only in close and intimate communication with his employers but also with the decision makers with whom they had to deal, sometimes pleasurably, often in conflict but always carefully. Avner paints an intriguing picture of the thought processes and influences that determined the flavour of those meetings.

This is a lengthy book, some 700 pages, and yet you finish it wanting more. Very few punches are pulled as Avner presents the four Prime Ministers he served as human beings with human frailties and needs and not merely the caricatures presented by the Press over the years covered by his book. Indeed, of the four - Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir,Yitzak Rabin and Menachem Begin - it is Begin for whom he has a special regard, respect and fondness. He provides a rare insight of a man driven by a feeling of a religious destiny and one who is usually reviled by the world's press.

It is an immensely readable book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece on So Many Levels, 16 Sep 2010
This review is from: The Prime Ministers (Hardcover)
The book is a masterpiece on so many levels - biography; history; insight into the art of diplomacy; autobiography and more. It is more a historically interesting document in its own right than it is a history book - but that should ensure its lasting value to students and casual readers in the future. It will not date in the way so many history books do, because it is more a unique record of events than an attempt to analyse. You sneak the analysis into the interstices in a way that the reader hardly notices.

Thank you.

Trevor Asserson
Asserson Law Offices
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5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner!, 2 Mar 2014
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Richard Clayton (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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A great inside view into the personalities of Israel's Prime Ministers and the hard choices they had to make throughout Israel's short history so far.
Avner details some fascinating anecdotes from Meir to Begin, focussing on the Egypt-Israel Peace signing with a wonderfully clear writing style. A real page-turner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Prime Ministers, 26 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Prime Ministers (Hardcover)
This is a big book with so much history - takes some time to read it if one doesn't have too much time for reading, but such a revelation of people behind such an interesting history! On the cover they mention a film being made on the book - I'm searching for the name, as I'd certainly buy it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Israeli pioneers, 13 Oct 2013
By 
Dr. Kenneth Lancer (Radlett, Herts. UK) - See all my reviews
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Recommended to me I started to read and could hardly put it down! So much is due to the author's fascinating style but of course the history alone - even though you may think that you know it all - races along at breakneck pace. A must read for everybody.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising, 29 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Prime Ministers (Hardcover)
A very surprising and authentic look at four Israeli prime ministers and
the history of Israel during their times. I found it very hard to put down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing first-hand insights into various Israeli administrations, 24 Aug 2013
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LXIX (scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Prime Ministers (Hardcover)
This is a big book - hardback and with 700 pages. After buying it, it took me a year to get round to reading it and I have to say that I wasn't disappointed.

If you're interested in Israel, Israeli history or the workings of the Israeli government, then this eyewitness testimony account will be right up your street.

Yehuda Avner, English by birth but Israeli by instinct, was a state employee who enjoyed privileged access to the inner sanctum of a number of Israeli PM's. Through his press and diplomatic work he was therefore privy to a host of events that took centre stage in world news, such as the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the raid on Entebbe, the Sinai peace agreements between Israel and Egypt and the Israel/Lebanon War of 1982.

Although these occurrences were of key geopolitical importance, I found his anecdotal tales to be very interesting too. The author mentions his admiration for Menachem Begin and this is also manifest in the amount of space allocated to that particular PM. All the prime ministers are brought to life here as multidimensional characters - including non-Israelis too such as Henry Kissinger, Anwar Sadat, President Carter, Margaret Thatcher, Charles & Diana, and Ronald Reagan.

Overall, covering the tenures of Eshkol, Meir, Rabin and Begin, this book will probably stand tall as a unique and revealing insight into the personalities who helped shape the apex of Israeli government in the first 35 years of its existence (1948-1983).

It's worth noting that this book is also wonderfully written. I don't mention that often when reviewing books, but this author has a particularly engaging turn of phrase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascination insight into how many important decisions were reached, 10 Aug 2013
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a superb account of a man who worked for successive prime ministers. He gives detail of exactly what they were like and an insight into how some of the most important decisions of the time were reached. At times it is extremely emotional, Once I started reading it i could not put i down
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5.0 out of 5 stars exallent book, 13 Jun 2013
what an amaizing book by yehuda shows why he was an embaseder. i feel this book is worthy of a reward.. to summ it all up abselutly brilliant
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The Prime Ministers
The Prime Ministers by Yehuda Avner (Hardcover - 1 Sep 2010)
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