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Summary

This extraordinary book is the result of Saul Bellow’s sojourn in Israel in 1975. A personal record of his stay—his experiences and impressions—as well as a meditation, it crackles with wit and controversy on America’s relationship with this embattled country.

Using quick sketches and vignettes, Bellow captures the personal opinions, passions, and dreams of several Israelis, and he also adds to these his own reflections on being Jewish in the 20th century. The varying viewpoints of those he encounters and interviews offer a revealing look at the history and challenges of Israel, and Bellow’s passionate storytelling draws listeners in to share in his experience.

©1976 Saul Bellow (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

"An impassioned and thoughtful book…. Bellow delights in the liveliness, the gallantry of Israeli life—people on the edge of history, an inch from disaster, yet brimming with argument and words." ( New York Times Book Review)

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  • theredtomato
  • 07-09-20

Remarkable in its relevance 40 years later

This is a beautifully written book, with great insights. What is incredible is that it’s analysis is just as meaningful in 2020 as it was in the 1970s. It reads as though it were written yesterday, not decades ago.

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  • martin
  • 06-12-16

Complexity Beautifully Weighed

This is a simply wonderful work. If you're a Bellow fan, it's a must. If you're interested in Israel and Middle-Eastern politics, it's a fascinating and highly entertaining overview of the history of the conflict till '76. Then the fascination doesn't end as you realise just how much remains true. On top of all that it's a great travel book. Everything is told in Bellow's voice- insightful, soulful and never far from humour. Read dumb well. Highly recommended

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