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The Lion's Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  751 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
June 5, 1967. The nineteen-year-old state of Israel is surrounded by enemies who want nothing less than her utter extinction. The Soviet-equipped Egyptian Army has amassed a thousand tanks on the nation’s southern border. Syrian heavy guns are shelling her from the north. To the east, Jordan and Iraq are moving mechanized brigades and fighter squadrons into position to ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Sentinel
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(showing 1-30)
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May 06, 2014 Cortana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
I’m not particular fascinated about war but the Six Day War was an altogether different story. It began with the closure of the Straits of Tiran by Egypt followed by the UN leaving Sinai. What was apparently thought to be a one-sided war with initial reports of massive damage being inflicted on the Israeli military, cities and civilians soon assumed frightening proportions with Israel wagging its tail and turning the tide of the war. The conquest of the Sinai peninsula, the West Bank and the ...more
Jan 26, 2016 Jason rated it it was amazing
Shelves: az, 2016
I always wanted to know more about the Six Day War. When I chose this Pressfield book, I expected to get a detailed account of the military side of things. What Pressfield gave me encompassed much more - an oral history of first-hand accounts.

Told from the viewpoint of dozens of Jews that participated in the war, this book provides unique insight into the mindset of an entire people group as it fought for survival in a volatile and changing region and world. A young and tiny nation, devoid of po
Jun 14, 2014 Jonathan rated it it was amazing
Absolutely excellent oral history as seen through the eyes of various IDF vets of the 6 Day War. Had a hard time putting it down, emotional, visceral, and real.
Apr 28, 2014 Lee rated it it was amazing
This was an interesting, informative book. I learned a lot about Israel and the Six Day War. While it did have many details about the war and battles and the political climate of the day, it wasn't just a recounting of the war. It was a first person telling...I like that each section was a different person's eyewitness account of what happened to them. The book seemed so much more personal this way. I enjoyed getting to know the Jewish people through this book. I definitely recommend it.
Casey Hampton
Jun 17, 2014 Casey Hampton rated it liked it
Shelves: war-military
Steven Pressfield acknowledges that this " not a comprehensive history of the Six Day War." Rather, it is a subjective account of ground and air operations told primarily in the first-person voice. This creates a slight paradox. The first-person accounts promote intimacy between the reader and the person relaying their experiences. The paradoxical nature of such a narrative is that by skipping from person to person to person, the bond between reader and storyteller is never allowed to take ...more
Jun 14, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
An exceptional Steven Pressfield book. The Lion's Gate delivers a comprehensive book of the Six Days War between Israel and the surrounding countries. What I especially found interesting is it gives us a personal insight into the lives and battles of the actual persons in the war, it makes us aware of the political scene that was still developing if not in existence at that time. I think most of the world have forgotten how Israel stood alone at that time, the U.S., Britain, Russia, most all ...more
Brandon Forsyth
May 19, 2014 Brandon Forsyth rated it it was ok
Some interesting stories and moments, but the cast of characters is so large that I had trouble keeping them distinct in my mind. I also have big problems with Pressfield using Moshe Dayan's voice in the first-person (apparently culled from his books, recorded statements, etc.) alongside his primary interview sources, which I think plays with perspective a little too freely for my tastes. This book will definitely read better for people that are more familiar with the broad course of events of ...more
Lori Ben-ezra
May 05, 2014 Lori Ben-ezra rated it it was ok
I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity to read first hand accounts of soldiers who fought in the Six Day War for Israel. While I enjoyed their personal stories, I found the book lacked a cohesiveness in putting those interviews together in the best way. At times I struggled to continue reading the book, but overall, I'm glad I did. If you enjoy history the interviews in this book bring history to life.
Oct 24, 2016 Justin rated it it was amazing
An amazing book. I intend to read up more on this subject, and come back to The Lion's Gate. Cannot recommend it enough.
May 24, 2014 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
My only complaint about The Lion's Gate is that Pressfield didn't expand this book into a broader, definitive history of the conflict. And trust me, this is a minor complaint. Riveting.
Mar 21, 2015 Nordo rated it really liked it
I gave it 4 because Jay gave it 3. It may have been better as an audio book too.
Brigitte Ballingall
Making my Top 10 list

I am a reader and I am selective-a good story but also the prose must be intelligent. This book was even more than that. It explains the people and the purpose in a way that transcends the common mans understanding of the Jews, what binds them, drives them and sheds light on an ancient struggle. Informative, poetic, enlightening, a book that stays with you when you walk away from it and calls you back for more. Everything you want in a book-it takes you away but returns you
Chris Musselman
Dec 07, 2016 Chris Musselman rated it it was amazing
An informative and entertaining read about the six day war. Through personal stories and interviews, it tells the story from the perspective of the individual Israeli "citizen soldiers". It provides some background history on the events and conflicts leading up to 1967. A good primer on understanding how the complex situation in the middle east arose and why tensions continue so many years later.
Dennis Brooke
Dec 10, 2016 Dennis Brooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing Rendition of a Fantastic Story

A rich telling of the survival of the Jewish nation told in the voice of the people who fought the battles of the Six Day War. Highly recommend this to get a better understanding of both history and modern politics of the region.
Nov 04, 2016 Sharon rated it really liked it
A moving account of the six-day war, told entirely through first person accounts of the soldiers. With the entire Arab world against them, against untenable odds the Israelis persevered and won.
Apr 21, 2014 Judie rated it it was amazing
While I usually do not read war or action stories, my adrenaline was kicking in on overdrive as I sped through THE LION’S GATE. I knew many of the details before I had even opened the book, but it was so real and fresh that I felt I was actually there: in the airplanes, helicopters, jeeps, tanks, and trudging along in IDF boots.
I remember following the Six Day war as it happened, beginning with Egypt’s closure of the Straits of Tiran and the UN leaving the Sinai. I was living in Ohio and all t
Allen Cauthen
Oct 16, 2016 Allen Cauthen rated it liked it
Paints a vivid picture of the state of affairs in Israel leading up to and during the six day war of 1967. I liked it.
Sep 11, 2014 Brandon rated it really liked it
I was very excited to receive a free copy of this book through a Goodreads contest. As an avid reader of history, and with a penchant for military history, I was fairly confident going in that this book was going to be one that I would enjoy. And I was not disappointed. It was very interesting to read excerpts from journals, interviews, etc from the actual soldiers who fought the war — in this case, Israeli soldiers.

There are a lot of things that are great about this book. The structure, for the
Sep 04, 2015 Matt rated it it was amazing
Absoluely riveting. Pressfield takes some 370 hours of interviews with veterans of the war and stitches them together into one spellbinding narrative. Because the book is comprised entirely of firsthand testimony with no intervening commentary, it is deliberately idiosyncratic and subjective. This "hybrid history" is able to vividly portray the human side of the conflict: the fear, courage, confusion, triumph; the heart-rending loss and grief. Of course, the actual military operations that ...more
David Zimmerman
Sep 26, 2016 David Zimmerman rated it really liked it
Overall, I enjoyed this book. As I read, it did not take me long to realize I knew practically nothing about the Six Day War, and most of what I thought I knew was wrong. Instead of being written as a straightforward account of the war, the author relates the events mostly through the first-person accounts of Israelis who were involved in the conflict. This kept the story personal as well as factual. The only drawback for me was the occasional strong language used by some of those used to tell ...more
Sep 24, 2016 Joey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy &%$#*&^@! Amazing book, amazing. Incredible format. I simply cannot believe how ignorant I was on this particular conflict; I spent this entire book with my jaw dropped full to the floor.

It doesn't matter which side of the Israeli / Arab conflict you come down on, you have to admit that what happened during that six day period fifty years ago was both significant and just plain shocking.

I will say this, I have no idea how the Israeli people kept their whits about them in the weeks
David Tindell
Jun 12, 2014 David Tindell rated it it was amazing
I have always felt that oral history, as transcribed to paper (or, these days, electronic tablet) is some of the best kind of history. We hear the participants speak, we don't get bogged down in statistics, we see things through their eyes. Such is "The Lion's Gate", Steven Pressfield's history of the Six-Day War.
People under 50 today consider this short but immensely important 1967 conflict the same as they do Vietnam, a war in the past, fought by an older generation, with little impact on th
Luke Crawford
Oct 18, 2016 Luke Crawford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did you like "The gates of fire" ? the style is very similar, though this book has rather more 'primary source' materiel, as one might expect due to the difference in time. I liked this book rather more than "The Gates of Fire"

It is very much written so that it can be enjoyed as an adventure story, and while Pressfield has this idea of the "universal warrior ethos" - it fits much better here, when applied to Israeli soldiers, than it does when he tried to apply the same to the Spartans.

(Not tha
Tom Duff
Jun 02, 2014 Tom Duff rated it it was amazing
The Lion's Gate On the Front Lines of the Six Day War by Steven Pressfield
Steven Pressfield

I started The Lion's Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War by Steven Pressfield this last Friday, expecting it'd take me the better part of a week to read through it. Wrong... I was done by Saturday. It's a fascinating look at what it was like to be on the battle lines of a war where the goal was to annihilate your nation.

Pressfield makes it very clear up front as to what this book is and why he wrote it. It's not a comprehensive history of the Six Day War, nor is it an a
Lynn Demsky
May 02, 2014 Lynn Demsky rated it it was amazing
"June 5, 1967. The nineteen-year-old state of Israel is surrounded by enemies who want nothing less than her utter extinction. The Soviet-equipped Egyptian Army has massed a thousand tanks on the nation’s southern border. Syrian heavy guns are shelling her from the north. To the east, Jordan and Iraq are moving mechanized brigades and fighter squadrons into position to attack. Egypt’s President Nasser has declared that the Arab force’s objective is “the destruction of Israel.” The rest of the ...more
Tom Donaghey
Apr 22, 2014 Tom Donaghey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
THE LION’S GATE refers to one of the entrances into the Old City of Jerusalem through which the victorious Israeli army took control of the most holy of sights. This book covers, in detail, how a determined but outnumbered, under armed and undermanned Israeli Army not only went to battle but won the Six Day War of 1967.
Although the combined forces of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq outnumbered the Israeli forces 40 to 1, although the Arabs had an insurmountable advantage in air power, tanks and
Mike Emett
Jun 13, 2015 Mike Emett rated it it was amazing
I must admit I did expect to finish this work so quickly. Yet, when one realizes and then immerses themselves into these first hand accounts of this Israeli soldiers, airmen and minister of defense Moshe Dayan, it makes for an exciting read, a book of reality and triumph in war.

I do not know as much about the Six days war as I wish I knew. I have seen some documentaries, seen some combat footage, read a few things online, but from what I understand of the historiography of this war, this, so fa
Zohar -
Aug 11, 2014 Zohar - rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
The Lion's Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War by Steven Pressfield is a narrative history book of one of Israel’s most critical wars. The book is written from the Israeli perspective and rich in detail, but also a bit graphic.

When I heard of The Lion's Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War by Steven Pressfield from, I immediately bought it.
A book about a most interesting subjects by one of my favorite authors – how can one go wrong?

I was not mistaken, this is a gr
J.B. Simmons
Jan 31, 2015 J.B. Simmons rated it really liked it
This book's ambitions are immense, and its delivery is almost perfect.

As with Pressfield's other work, the writing is crisp and hard-hitting. There's no better way to deliver military history. His sentences flow into each other like a series of punches -- often with such force that they leave you reeling. The stories and dialogues portray the characters beautifully. Pressfield makes you feel as if you know the whole group, to try to understand how they came together with such unity and strength
May 14, 2014 Ryan rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
**I received this book as part of Goodreads' FirstReads giveaway.**

I greatly enjoyed this book and was excited to receive an advance edition. I especially liked the style of the narrative. The book is broken down into several sections within which are shorter chapters describing different aspects, and even different theaters, of the Six Day War and these made the read a little easier at times due to the nature of the story. Pressfield does a fantastic job of compiling the narratives of the numer
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I was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1943 to a Navy father and mother.

I graduated from Duke University in 1965.

In January of 1966, when I was on the bus leaving Parris Island as a freshly-minted Marine, I looked back and thought there was at least one good thing about this departure. "No matter what happens to me for the rest of my life, no one can ever send me back to this freakin' place a
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“Who are these pilots anyway? They get the best of everything; their demands eat up the defense budget. Can we count on them? What do they do except wear Ray-Bans and eat steaks and go home each night to sleep on clean sheets?” 0 likes
“Sharon was a realist. He recognized, as did Ben-Gurion and Dayan, that the Arabs had as legitimate a claim to this land as we did, and that they possessed pride and courage and anger, against which no rejoinder existed except the sword.” 0 likes
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