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Arik: Book summary and reviews of Arik by David Landau

Arik

The Life of Ariel Sharon

by David Landau

Arik
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2014
    656 pages
    Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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Book Summary

From the former editor in chief of Haaretz, the first in-depth, comprehensive biography of Ariel Sharon, the most dramatic and imposing Israeli political and military leader of the last forty years.

The life of Ariel Sharon spans much of modern Israel's history. A commander in the Israeli Army from its inception in 1948, Sharon participated in the 1948 War of Independence, played decisive roles in the 1956 Suez War and the Six-Day War of 1967, and is credited here with the shift in the outcome of the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

After leaving the professional army, Sharon became a political leader and served in numerous governments, most prominently as the defense minister during the 1982 Lebanon War in which he bore "personal responsibility," according to the state's commission of inquiry, for massacres of Palestinian civilians by Lebanese militia. As a general and as a politician, he championed the construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. But as prime minister, he performed a dramatic reversal: orchestrating Israel's unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

Landau brilliantly chronicles Sharon's surprising about-face, combining the immediacy of firsthand reportage with the analysis and independent insight of a historian's perspective. Sharon suffered a stroke in January 2006 and remains in a persistent vegetative state. This biography recounts the life of the man who is considered by many to be Israel's greatest military leader and political statesman, illustrating how Sharon's leadership transformed Israel, and how his views were shaped by the changing nature of Israeli society.

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Splendid reporting, comprehensive research and probing analysis inform this unblinking view of a complicated man and a sanguinary geography." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. [Landau's] thorough, balanced, and scrupulously fair biography makes clear why Sharon was capable of winning respect and admiration, even from his staunch political opponents...This is an outstanding, warts-and-all portrait of an arguably great, if not a particularly likable, Israeli leader." - Booklist

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David Landau immigrated to Israel from the United Kingdom as a young man. His career in journalism began in 1970 at The Jerusalem Post, and he joined Haaretz in 1993 as news editor. He founded of Haaretz's English edition and was its editor from 1997 to 2004, and was editor in chief of Haaretz's Hebrew edition until 2008. He is the longtime Israel correspondent for The Economist. Landau collaborated with Israel's president Shimon Peres on Peres' memoir, Battling for Peace, and he published, with President Peres, Ben-Gurion: A Political Life. He is also the author of Piety and Power, an account of the increasingly significant role the ultra-orthodox (haredi) play in Israel, the United States, and Europe. Landau graduated with a degree in law from University College London and studied in leading yeshivas in Israel. He is married with children and grandchildren and lives in Jerusalem

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