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Lioness by Francine Klagsbrun
Apr 02, 2019 | ISBN 9780805211931
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  • Paperback $23.95

    Apr 02, 2019 | ISBN 9780805211931

  • Hardcover $40.00

    Oct 17, 2017 | ISBN 9780805242379

  • Ebook $14.99

    Oct 17, 2017 | ISBN 9780805243505

Product Details


Winner of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award/Everett Family Foundation Book of the Year

“A thorough and absorbing examination of the woman and her role in Zionism and Israel.  Lioness wrests Meir from the shadow of the Yom Kippur War and presents her life and career as a lens to examine Israel’s challenges—borders, settlements, occupation, terror, and the social and ethnic divide between Jews of European origin and those of Middle Eastern origin.”
—Ethan Bronner, The New York Times Book Review
“Scrupulously researched. . . . A major achievement.”
—Susan Jacoby, The Washington Post

“Engrossing [and] magisterial. . . . One finishes Klagsbrun’s monumental volume—which is both a biography of Golda and a biography of Israel in her time—with a deepened sense that modern Israel, its prime ministers, and its survival is a story of biblical proportions.”
“The most comprehensive, best-researched, and carefully nuanced study of Israel’s fourth prime minister published to date. It forces even the most skeptical and opinionated to reassess the Golda legacy and reexamine her impact on Israel’s trajectory. . . . Fascinating.”
 “Magisterial. . . . The individual who emerges from the 800 pages of Lioness is not only more nuanced than history has given her credit for being, but also more compassionate, realistic, and capable of compromise than the image of the blunt-edged battle-ax that has passed down to us.”
—David Green, Haaretz

“A majestic and very important account of the extraordinary life of the American-raised woman who became a charismatic and powerful prime minister of modern Israel. I thought I knew her life story, but Klagsbrun’s compelling story of Golda’s triumphs and trials, her irresistible personality, gave me a fresh appreciation of this historic woman.”
—Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation
“Masterful [and] compelling. . . . Klagsbrun captures Golda’s unusual blend of toughness, warmth, intelligence, plainspokenness, and passion, along with her remarkable achievements.”
—Sandee Brawarsky, The Jewish Week

“A masterwork melding character and history, Klagsbrun’s majestic study of Golda Meir chronicles marriage as poignant tragedy, visionary socialism as dominant yet fragile, party politics as life-or-death exigency, and daily contingencies as cliffhangers. Part biblically reminiscent drama, part novel-like interiority, part American-inspired pioneering, Golda Meir’s story, from childhood pogroms to Milwaukee schoolteacher to prime minister of the beleaguered reborn state of Israel, has no parallel in the annals of nations.”
—Cynthia Ozick

“Golda Meir—immigrant, Zionist, feminist, and wartime prime minister of Israel—claimed far more than one woman’s share of history. In Lioness, Francine Klagsbrun superbly captures Golda’s courage and unrelenting commitment to the founding and survival of a Jewish state.”
—John A. Farrell, author of Richard Nixon: The Life
“A masterful biography—it’s scholarly and gorgeously researched, but most of all it’s the vivid story of a tough, complicated, remarkable woman who led Israel during a crucial period in its history. A powerful read.”
—Patricia Bosworth, author of Anything Your Little Heart Desires: An American Family Story

“Klagsbrun’s prodigious biography goes far beyond previous hagiographies to place Golda’s personal life against the backdrop of the emergence of Israel on the world stage. She lays out Golda’s monumental achievements but does not shy away from her failings, [in this] defining testament to Golda’s much-admired legacy.”


Plutarch Award SHORTLIST

Table Of Contents

Cast of Characters xi
Introduction: “Call Me Golda” xv
1 The Carpenter’s Daughter 3
2 An American Girl 27
3 “Dearest Gogo” 44
4 The Path to Palestine 62
5 “New Jews” 83
6 The Dark Years 106
7 A Star Is Born 118
8 Pioneer Woman 137
9 Black Clouds Rising 153
10 “And the Heart Breaking” 176
11 Life and Death 192
12 Ein Breira—No Alternative 220
13 “Nevertheless: A Woman” 245
14 1947: The Turning Point 269
15 “The Time Is Now” 294
16 Moscow 325
17 “Either Immigrants or Shoes” 351
18 The Politician 375
19 “Golda Meir” 396
20 Conflict and Charisma 421
21 “A Mutual Distancing” 443
22 Seat of Power 471
23 The Chosen 497
24 A Different Kind of War 514
25 “What Has Happened to Us?” 535
26 Terror, Territories, and the Palestinian Question 558
27 Premier Meir and President Sadat 584
28 “I Will Never Again Be the Person I Was” 610
29 An “Irrevocable” Decision 639
30 “My Only Fear Is to Live Too Long” 662
Endings: “I’ve Always Been a Realist” 684
Acknowledgments 693
Notes 697
Bibliography 769
Index 785

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