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White Nights: The Story of a Prisoner in Russia

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published January 1st 1979 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Andrew Jacobson
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Told with cool, incisive prose, White Nights is Begin’s own harrowing account of his 1940-1941 detention by the Soviet Union’s NKVD. Decisively, it is a memoir, the first of Begin's two (the other is about Etzel's revolt against the British Mandate), though interspersed throughout is also some political analysis of the Soviet Union's tyrannical regime and the culture of abject fear it engendered in its population.

I read this text after I was inspired by Yehuda Avner's depiction of the great Jew
Moshe Hollander
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very valuable read. Not the 'life-changing' book that it was promised to be by the person who recommended it to me, but still worth it. Great as a good overview/personal history, but it could have been more descriptive if it was aiming to educate re. Soviet history.
Sheldon Wolf
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is as penetrating and vivid as Ivan Denisov. moving depiction of Stalinist terror by Israeli hero and Prime Minister
James Christensen
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recounts his Russian internment. Fascinating read. Brave man.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Helped me understand Begin and his development into the person and leader he became. To be honest it is plodding but worth it.
Alex Goldstein
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfictiion, history
Интересно. Иврит несколько устаревший, но быстро привыкаешь, читается легко. Бегин описывает историю своего ареста, заключение и допросы в вильнюсской тюрьме НКВД, а затем несколько месяцев в ПечорЛаге.
Я несколько месяцев назад перечитывал Солженицына, очень схожие описания - но при этом он смотрит на все глазами варшавского интеллигента, и этот взгляд на Гулаг "со стороны" очень интересен.
Порадовали многочисленные вкрапления русских терминов ивритскими буквами - "урки", "доходяга", "бригадир".
Oct 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
I really found this book very insightful. I haven't read much about the Soviet prison camps- just the Nazi ones. It is so sad what human beings can do to each other. I wish I had more of an understanding of all the politics involved between all the countries and leaders at the time. The ending of the book left me a little unsatisfied because it doesn't say how he eventually gets to Israel or if he is reunited with his wife. I would have also loved to hear what ended up happening to the different ...more
Richard Odier
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book about the unknown story of Menahem begin in the Soviet camps.

In his youth Begin was arrested by the Russian authorities as a Zionist leader, he was sent his jail. This testimony is well written, highly fascinating and shows the strengths of idealism for the young Jewish leader.
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Menachem Begin was a politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel. He is considered one of Israel's most extraordinary individuals, playing a key role in the creation of Israel and its politics afterwards.

When he was young Begin and his family fled the Nazis. He escaped to Vilna and became the head of the Betar movement, a Revisionist Zionist youth movement. He

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