1949: The First Israelis / Edition 1

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Overview

The founding of Israel in 1948—one of the seminal events of the century—offers a heroic narrative with few parallels in modern history. In 1949, a controversial best-seller in Israel, Tom Segev draws on thousands of declassified documents along with personal diaries and correspondence to reconstruct the unvarnished story of Israel's first year.

Segev reveals the lofty aspirations that guided the state's leaders as well as the darker side of the Zionist utopia: the friction between the early settlers and the immigrants, the lack of good-faith negotiations with the Arabs; the clash between religious and secular factions; the daily collision of the Zionist myth with the severe realities of life in the new state. Unflinching in its observations, this bold chronicle is indispensible for understanding the dilemmas that continue to confront—and divide—Israeli society.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Required reading for all who want to understand the Arab-Israeli conflict. Segev’s book provides the best analysis I have seen of the problems of trying to integrate so many people from such diverse cultures into one political body.”The New York Times Book Review

"A landmark book . . . Necessary reading for anyone interested in the past and future of the Middle East."San Francisco Chronicle

"A fascinating read . . . told with acid compassion."The New York Review of Books

"Understanding the present demands an honest confrontation with the past. 1949 makes a major contribution to understanding."Los Angeles Times Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805058963
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 714,744
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Segev is a columnist for Ha'aretz, Israel's leading newspaper, and author of three works on the history of Israel, 1949: The First Israelis, The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust, and One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate. He lives in Jerusalem.

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Table of Contents

Preface: Ten Years Later v
Introduction ix
Part I Between Jews and Arabs 1
1. The Green Line 3
2. Face to Face 43
3. Dividing the Spoils 68
Part II Between Veterans and Newcomers 93
4. The First Million 95
5. Working and Fighting Hands 117
6. Nameless People 155
Part III Between the Orthodox and the Secular 195
7. Each in the Name of His God 197
8. The Battle for the Sabbath 233
Part IV Between Vision and Reality 263
9. The Quest for a National Identity 265
10. Codfish with Everything 296
Notes 324
Bibliography 368
Index 372
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