New Book: Shilon, Ben Gurion – His Later Years in the Political Wilderness

Shilon, Avi. Ben-Gurion. His Later Years in the Political Wilderness. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield , 2016.

9781442249462

This is the first in-depth account of the later years of David Ben-Gurion (1886–1973), Israel’s first Prime Minister and founding father. One of the first to sign Israel’s declaration of independence and a leading figure in Zionism, Ben-Gurion stepped down from office in 1963 and retired from political life in 1970, deeply disappointed about the path on which the state had embarked and the process that brought about the end of his political career. He moved to a kibbutz in the Negev desert, where he lived until his death. Robbed of the public aura that had wrapped him for decades, his revolutionary passion, which was not weakened in his 80s, pushed him to continue seeking social and moral change in Israel, a political solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict, and to conduct a personal and national soul-searching about the development of the State he himself had declared.

Based on his personal archives and new interviews with his intimate friends and family, the book reveals how the founding father explored the Israeli establishment he created and from which he later disengaged. It provides a thorough examination of the decisive moments in the annals of Zionism as revealed through the lens of Ben-Gurion’s worldview, which are still relevant to present-day Israel.

Table of Contents

Part I
Chapter 1: Last Dance
Chapter 2: By all Means
Chapter 3: Grief of Victory
Chapter 4: My Way

Part II
Chapter 5: Back to the Shed
Chapter 6: A man of one Trade
Chapter 7: Vision, Leadership, Path
Chapter 8: Memorandum
Chapter 9: Eternal salvation
Chapter 10: Confessions
Chapter 11: Farewell

AVI SHILON is a historian and journalist, whose articles have been published in all of Israel’s major newspapers: Ma’ariv, Globes, Israel Hayom. He currently writes a weekly column in Ha’aretz.

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