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Susan Erony)

Living History: A Memoir by Chaim Herzog (176,000 words, 30 illustrations)

In this at times startlingly candid memoir, Chaim Herzog reviews an extraordinary life. Born in Belfast in 1918 to a Latvian mother and a Polish father who was chief rabbi of Ireland, Chaim Herzog moved with his family to Palestine in 1935 and at 16 joined the Haganah, the underground resistance led by David Ben-Gurion. He joined the British army as soon as Britain declared war on Hitler, and was part of the first Allied formation to cross into Germany, where he subsequently witnessed the horrors of the newly liberated Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He fought in Israel’s war for independence, and as director of Israel’s military intelligence molded it into one of the best organizations of its kind. As President of Israel (1983-93) Herzog helped shape Israel’s response to growing unemployment and drug use, the intifada, the Gulf War and Iraqi Scud missile attacks. Sprinkled with his brutally frank assessments of Golda Meir, Shimon Peres, Moshe Dayan, Kurt Waldheim, Reagan, Arafat and others, his memoir ends on an optimistic note, envisaging a genuine Middle East peace that could facilitate joint Israel-Arab economic and technical cooperation.

“Mr. Herzog appears to have done everything and been everywhere since he came of age just before the onset of World War II... a book that is a heady mix of the public and private.” — Robert Leiter,
The New York Times

“One of Israel’s leading soldier-statesmen-diplomats, Chaim Herzog has written a lively account of his long life in politics.” — William B. Quandt,
Foreign Affairs

“President Herzog is a lion statesman in a world of mice. Israel was born in war, and its political elite sometimes seems to resemble a warrior class. But there has always been a need for leadership in Israel that looks beyond the immediate issues of security and territorial advantage, of war and peace. President Herzog... has filled that need.” —
The Times (London)

“Herzog invites us to live his extraordinary history with him in this lucid, elegant, and immensely human memoir. A good read about pivotal periods in modern life.” —
George P. Shultz

“A witty and fascinating memoir by one of this century’s great Irishmen. Chaim Herzog has made historic contributions as a warrior, diplomat, and statesman. He writes with the same vitality that he brought to each of his previous careers.” —
Daniel Patrick Moynihan