Major Farran's Hat: The Untold Story of the Struggle to Establish the Jewish Stateby David Cesarani
In May 1947 a sixteen-year-old Jewish activist named Alexander Rubowitz was abducted in broad daylight from the streets of Jerusalem. At the abduction scene, a gray hat was found, purportedly belonging to Major Roy Farran, a decorated World War II officer who was in charge of British counterterrorism in Palestine. As evidence mounted against Farran, the Zionist underground swore vengeance. The episode precipitated a series of nail-biting twists and turns that had far-reaching consequences.
An engaging mix of true crime and polemical narrative history, peopled by a cast of luminaries including Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, Menachem Begin, and Golda Meir, Major Farran's Hat investigates shady violence, scandaluos cover-ups, and political expediency. It also explores why Britain lost Palestine, as well as how its counterinsurgency and diplomatic strategies collided so disastrously. By exposing Britain's legacy in the Middle East, this historical thriller echoes today's war on terror and pointedly illustrates the circumstances surrounding the birth of the State of Israel.
Kirkus Reviews, 7/1/09
“A pointedly argued account of the relentless violence by both British and Jewish groups that brought about the end of the British rule in Palestine. In this…cogent work, the author demonstrates how the British ‘special squads’ descended into criminality-and were matched in their militancy by Jewish groups such as the Irgun. Sound, sober, historical documentation.”
“This is a necessary reminder about the underside of empire and the creation of nations.”
“A soundly researched history of an event worth remembering…A book worth having and referring to when contemplating the critical postwar years of the Palestine Mandate.”
“Riveting and dramatic”
Washington Jewish Post
“Cesarani resurrects a long-forgotten murder of a young Jewish boy in Jerusalem that may have lessons for us today.”
The Jerusalem Post
“A wonderful book…riveting, persuasive”
New York Post, 9/13
“Cesarani dons his thriller cap to tell how Britain’s use of violent and extralegal activities helped hasten losing its mandate in Palestine.”
- Da Capo Press
- Publication date:
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- Hachette Digital, Inc.
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 2 MB
Meet the Author
David Cesarani, one of Britain's leading historians, is Research Professor in History at Royal Holloway, London University, and author of the award-winning Becoming Eichmann. He has published widely on Jewish history and the history of Zionism. He lives in London.
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