Ben-Gurion of Israel, by Barnet Litvinoff
No reader of this biography would have been surprised by Ben Gurion’s return to public life as Minister of Defense in Israel’s present government. Barnet Litvinoff makes clear his deep and abiding concern with the defense of Israel and his passionate attachment to Israel’s army. Ben Gurion was not only Israel’s first Prime Minister, he was also her first Defense Minister, holding the two portfolios right up to the hour of his resignation. Nor was he Minister of Defense in title alone; Ben Gurion, Litvinoff tells us, set aside two full days every week for the affairs of the Ministry of Defense. He is the Carnot of Israel; under his direct guidance Yadin, the Chief of Staff, shaped the army into an instrument of victory and a school for transforming immigrants into Israelis. There is no separating Ben Gurion’s life from Zionism. Barnet Litvinoff’s biography is therefore a contribution toward the understanding of the State of Israel as well as of its first politician and statesman, of some of the chief problems that face it, and also of the American Jewish community’s connection with Israel’s destiny.
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