Elliot Ratzman's Reviews > Golda

Golda by Elinor Burkett
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Aug 02, 2010

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Read in August, 2010

Smoking three packs of cigarettes, drinking gallons of coffee, sleeping little, undergoing cancer treatment, trying to keep the fractious Labor Party together, and that’s only halfway through this bio of Golda Meir (1898-1978) Israel’s iconic PM, the first globally popular female head of state. Her first memory: hiding from a pogrom in Russia. She grows up in Milwaukee involved in the socialist-Zionist youth movements. She moves to Israel with her new husband (against his wishes) to a Kibbutz that finds her too nonconformist. She rises through the ranks of the pre-state government, then as ambassador to the USSR, UN, cabinet minister, VP of the Socialist International, then PM (to sideline the scheming Shimon Peres and the unstable Moshe Dayan). This is not the best possible bio (dates?) but you get a sense of now forgotten bad (or constrained) choices of the Arab states and the Israelis. You’ll be astounded at her iron will, wit and mixed record on the question of Palestine and peace.

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