1949 the First Israelis

Simon and Schuster, 14 2018 - 384
Renowned historian Tom Segev strips away national myths to present a critical and clear-eyed chronicle of the year immediately following Israels foundation.

Required reading for all who want to understand the Arab-Israeli conflictthe best analysisof the problems of trying to integrate so many people from such diverse cultures into one political body (The New York Times Book Review).

Historian and journalist Tom Segev stirred up controversy in Israel upon the first publication of 1949. It was a landmark book that told a different story of the countrys early years, one that wasnt taught in schools or shown in popular culture. Rather than painting the idealized picture of the Israels founding in 1948, after the wreckage of the Holocaust, Segev reveals gritty underside behind the early years.

The new country of Israel faced challenges on all sides. Day-to-day life was severe, marked by austerity and food shortages; Israeli society was fractured between traditional and secular camps; Jewish immigrants from Middle-Eastern countries faced discrimination and second-class treatment; and clashes between settlers and the Arabs would set the tone for relations for the following decades, hardening attitudes and creating a violent cycle of retaliation.

Drawing on journal entries, letters, declassified government documents, and more, 1949 is a richly detailed look at the friction between the idealism of the Zionist movement and the cold realities of history. Decades after its publication in the United States, Segevs groundbreaking book is still required reading for anyone who wants to understand Israels past and future.


1949, the first Israelis

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Segev is a well-known Israeli journalist with a degree in history from Boston University. This book, a translation from the original Hebrew, recounts the events during the first year of Israeli ...

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About the Author



Tom Segev is one of Israels best-known historians. He is often cited as one of Israels New Historians who challenged the countrys traditional narratives. His books have been published in 14 languages and include 1949: The Other Israelis; One Palestine Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate; The Seventh Million: Israelis and the Holocaust; and 1967: Israel, The War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East.