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Title: To Jerusalem and back A personal account Paperback – 1977

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1977
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Product details

  • Paperback: 377 pages
  • Publisher: G. K. Hall (1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816164800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816164806
  • Package Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,340,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Gareth Smyth VINE VOICE on 8 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very disappointing book. I expected much more from a writer with Bellow's talents, but found a rather tame, and very American, justification of Zionism laced with some trite observations about the European left. None of the conclusions about the human condition we might expect from a Nobel prize winner, as the hapless Arabs are even less a presence in the book than the European left.
Once or twice something memorable emerges, like a young Jewish mathematician who solved several important maths problems while in a Soviet gulag, but nothing that sustains the book.
Read Sami Michael's novel 'Victoria' instead.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
slightly creased but okay.
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Format: Paperback
If one were supposed to read a personal account by someone who hobnobbed with heads of states, was received by religious leaders and counted famous poets amongst his list of friends, one might be granted leave to not do so. Not for this book. The Nobel Laureate moves easily and, importantly, humanly amongst personalities in the Jerusalem of the mid 70s. It is not important WHO he meets.. its the thoughts that the meetings foment in his head that count. The situation in Jerusalem; the situation of the state of Israel as a whole, is brought forth. And to someone like me, from a tamer society, born in times of peace, it is tremendously disturbing. Disturbing not because I get a glimpse into the tension that prevails in an otherwise mundane, daily life, but because of the timelessness of the situation. Now, a quarter of century later, perhaps, things are different. What is frightening is that the sentiments linger. They have changed shape and form, but you will recognise fragments of the elements that make this book memorable and worrying.
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Format: Paperback
Well known , Nobel prize winning author , put his pen to the service of recording his 1975 visit to the Land of Israel and his thoughts on the dillemas faced by Israel at the time , and on world politics at large in the mid 1970's.
The author puts down his observations , from his thoughts about Hassidim on a plane from Heathrow to Ben Gurion airport to a secular kibbutz near Ceasarea, and his meetings with leaders and thinkers in Israel such as former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban , Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kolleck , poet and journalist Chaim Gouri and professor Yehoshafat Harkabi as well as Arab figures like Mahmoud Abu Zuluf , editor of the al Kuds , at the time the largest Arab language newspaper in Jerusalem , who'se life , and the life of his children , the author reports where threatened for his relatively 'moderate and conciliatory' line.

Although Abu Zuluf later became a stooge of Arafat and the PLO.
Bellow observes the Israeli people as lacking in rancour or bitterness against the Arabs , despite being constantly under the threat of anihilation and targeted by terrorism.
The threat of anihilation , of a second holocaust , looms permanently in the Israeli mind , leading one of Bellow's aquaintances to observe that it would be a horrible irony if the Jews being gathered in one place enabled a second holocaust to become a reality.
since before the State of Israel was established the Jews of Israel have had to live with terror , an example in this book being a homicide attack ""on the Jaffa Road, because of another bomb, six adolescents-two on a break from school-stopping at a coffee shop to eat buns, have just died.
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