Ben-Gurion: The Burning Ground 1886-1948

Written by Shabtai Teveth

“No other democratic system has ever known an elected leader serve so long in a central role.”

Israel’s founding father and first Prime Minister: David Ben Gurion.

Upon his death David Ben-Gurion had spent sixty-six of his eighty-seven years dedicated to Eretz Israel.

The son of a member of a Zionist movement, it was inevitable that one of the first words the young Ben-Gurion would hear was “Zion”.

The seeds sown, only his mother guessed how far they’d blossom.

From his native Poland he pursued his cause across many continents and regimes, including Tsarist Russia, the Ottoman Empire, pre-war Europe and finally across the Atlantic.

A determined man, Ben-Gurion understood the art of compromise, and in recognising potential merit as well as cost he always ensured that he could take another step forwards.

But this statesmanship came at a price, and his work threatened to consume him.

The sensitive man who set out on this quest became impervious to those set against him, and at times he could be oblivious to the impact he was having on his family and friends.

From his birth to that of the State of Israel, Shabtai Teveth charts David Ben-Gurion’s great endeavour, his mission impossible: the establishment of a single, Jewish, authority. Ben-Gurion is an insightful all-encompassing biography.

Winner of the 1988 National Jewish Book Award

Praise for Ben-Gurion

“Remarkable insights … historical detective work of the highest order” — Martin Gilbert, New York Times Book Review

“Prodigious research” — Walter Laqueur, Washington Post

“A remarkable literary achievement” — Abba Eban

“Magnificent” — Toronto Globe & Mail

“A monument to the biographical form” — Atlanta Journal and Constitution

“Teveth is a first-rate craftsman” — The New Republic

Shabtai Teveth (1925-2014) was an Israeli journalist and historian. During the 1967 war he was official war correspondent for the Israeli army. In 2005 he was awarded the state’s highest honour, the Israel Prize, for “lifetime achievement and special contribution to society and the State”. He also wrote The Tanks of Tammuz and The Cursed Blessing.

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