Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “No Room for Small Dreams: The Decisions That Made Israel Great” as Want to Read:
No Room for Small Dreams: The Decisions That Made Israel Great
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

No Room for Small Dreams: The Decisions That Made Israel Great

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  875 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Shimon Peres, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and one of the towering figures of the twentieth century, caps his legacy with this final book, completed shortly before his death—a majestic, intimate, and personal exploration of modern Israel’s history and values that provides invaluable insights for its future.

In 1934, eleven-year-old Shimon Peres arrived in Palestine from
Published September 12th 2017 by HarperAudio
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about No Room for Small Dreams, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about No Room for Small Dreams

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  875 ratings  ·  105 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of No Room for Small Dreams: The Decisions That Made Israel Great
It's Shimon Peres telling you his life and his dreams and ambitions. It's also hard to tell if that is all.

It taught me some things and I thought the earlier ancestor stories and those 1938-58 years in that kibbutz young people's unit/ school and his earlier working years was outstanding to read. And how he got so involved in the Zionist moment. But later with time sequences rather flip-flop style and some skipping and lots of name dropping and aside /tangent material to changes in his basic "t
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ben Gurion once said,'In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles'. No one has put this maxim to practice to a greater effect than Shimon Peres. This book is a treasure trove of wisdom and leadership lessons narrated by one of the founding fathers and tallest leaders of Israel. The parallel between his life and the life of his young nation was best described by Prime Minister Banjamin Netanyahu when, on Peres' death he remarked in September 2016,'Today is the first day in t ...more
Yash Sharma
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The land Of Risk Takers : ISRAEL

Dream, Dream, Dream

Dreams transform into thoughts

And thoughts result in action.

- APJ Abdul Kalam

No room for small dreams, courage, imagination and the making of modern Israel, is the autobiography of Shimon Peres, and he was the former, President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and also one of the founding fathers of the state of Israel.

For more information You can visit - https://dontbignorant
William K. Moses Jr.
I decided to read this book because someone, whose opinion I respect, told me it's worth reading. To be clear, the context was that if I ever decided to become a professor in a relatively young department and decided to help it grow, this book was worth the time. After reading this book, I agree.

So, now that you know that I went in looking for leadership lessons and not history lessons about Israel or Shimon Peres himself, let's get into why I found this book awesome. First off, Shimon Peres was
Karen Alkalay-Gut
If there is any book i would wish my grandchildren to read, it's this one. It has the kind of realistic optimism that makes it possible to face events that cannot be controlled, and the kind of morality that makes it necessary to take responsibility and try to mediate and reverse their direction. A man who convinces you that it is imperative to endeavor to bring about a better future for everyone, he inspired me on every page. ...more
Dmytro Foremnyi
Apr 02, 2022 rated it really liked it
Many parallels with modern Ukraine. Bravery, thoughtfulness, childish dreaminess, a BHAG of peace in the mind of Shimon inspired me. But decades of war...
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not so much a memoir as a greatest hits of his life at key moments in the history of the state of Israel, it was and interesting and quick read, but not sure it is the best introduction to his life...he skims over much and simplifies, and he doesn't use this book to wrestle with or speak to what I consider the central moral questions of Israel's relations with the Palestinians, nor, beyond an eloquent assertion of hope vs despair does he address the tragedy of the failure of Oslo and Israel's tu ...more
Anurag Mishra
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was a good experience and every new chapter was a new perspective. The narration was not old school where a timeline was followed . It was based on issue by issue . The author has not revealed much about the Dimona in his book but his way of potrayal is excellent.
There are some shades of narcissism (which is inevitable I believe) but the way the author has shown his pride for a country is what true nationalism is. There are some very encouraging and eye-catchy lines written to make it a perf
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shimon Peres reflects back on a lifetime of service and leadership to Israel. Great memoir that describes his childhood, his work as an up-and-coming leader in pre-state Israel, being mentored by Ben Gurion. His reflections on Israel building a nuclear reactor and his role in it are profound. The book shows him late in his career, leading Israel towards a peace process fraught with obstacles, taking over as Prime Minister when PM Rabin is murdered, and leading in building Israel as an innovator.
Jakub Dovcik
Jun 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
Not a thorough autobiography, but rather a selection of Peres' "greatest hits", it is an end-of-life statement of one of the most fascinating Israeli politicians. A lot of the narrative is very personal and touching, some parts are presented from a very subjective perspective, omitting a lot of interpersonal conflicts or political failures - at various parts the book looks a bit like self-help or motivational literature. Nevertheless, Peres provides a thorough description of the processes he was ...more
Ivan Ang
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shimon Peres was a dreamer. He had the courage to pursue his dreams for Israel, despite constant opposition and backlash from his detractors. Signs of a true visionary who was determined to create peace within the region.

Peres strongly believes that peace between nations is inevitable, out of necessity rather than out of love. He had incredible foresight, pioneering many initiatives: the IDF, the strategy of nuclear ambiguity, multiple peace agreements between its neighbouring Arab nations, Isra
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bio
great man. indeed
Jimmy Solis
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A visionary, a pacifist, an optimist, a leader. One of the best leaders of the 20th century.
Bimpe Abimbola
Oct 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Learned a lot about important moments in the development of modern day Israel from this highly regarded Statesman. He shared a lot of leadership lessons and personal learnings, and took us on a remarkable journey of his life’s work and passions.
Puja Gorai
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am a big fan of Shimon Peres! He is probably one of those rare people I really admire! Beautifully written, super galvanizing... Anyone who identifies as an optimistic leader or aspires to become one MUST read this!
Alice Malahova
Aug 30, 2022 rated it it was amazing
What a book! And what a perfect time to read it (applicable to Ukrainians in midst of the war and with big hopes for the future)! This man together with others built a great country, possessed a lot of wisdom and his whole life was longing for a peace; and he shares his views, wisdom, hopes and dreams in this book. Definitely must read!
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, history
Surprising and inspiring story of the making of Israel through the eyes of one of its key, formative statesmen. The historical events that Peres illuminates from his position as one of their planners and shapers, are fascinating. And that history is a powerful corrective to today's rampant anti-Israeli and, frankly, anti-Semitic, rhetoric, reminding us that Israel's proposals for a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians have been repeatedly rebuffed by a people who wanted no so ...more
Mannie Liscum
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shimon Peres’ “No Room for Small Dreams” is a truly gripping autobiography of a founding father of the state of Israel, and brief history of Israel itself. Peres is a talented writer who lived these experiences, experiences that gave life and stability to a new country; a country for an ancient people who had been exiled from their homeland for 2000 years - stateless until 1948 as a people, despite enduring Faith and culture. Quite independent of one’s own personal history (ethnicity, Faith or c ...more
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biogrophy
Many people live history but very few shape history and especially shape the history of there people and countries. This is what Shimon Peres has done he has shaped history he had the vision to see into the future of Israel form a very poor country with enemies on all sides wanting it destroyed. With only very few arms when it became a nation to now being one of the best militaries in the world. Form wars to looking for peace with its neighbours. Which some inside Israel and especially without d ...more
Ryan Croke
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an inspiration this story is and this man was. I could not put this down once I started reading it. The abundance of unbelievable tales he tells is almost overwhelming. I think opponents of his worldview would do themselves some good by reading this. He is heroic in his ability to change his mind; moving from a socialist to a capitalist; building Israel into a military state in order to enact peace; and allowing for the passage of the old guard and the embrace of the new. If I can be 1/100 ...more
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, history, jewish
The recounting of Shimon Peres’ life is a snapshot history of Israel. He never failed to think out of the box and thanks to him, Israel got its air force and air industry, obtained its nuclear reactor in Dimona, had the guts to stage the successful raid on Entebbe, began its successful foray into high tech, and negotiated the Oslo agreement. His success is primarily due to his early adoption by his mentor, Ben Gurion who along with Peres was an optimist but also a realist. The book is exceptiona ...more
Kara Durgin
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, but was not surprised given it was recommended by a friend. I didn't know that Israel was such a young country and I loved reading about it's onset and challenges through the eyes of one of its most influential figures. Simon Peres was an amazing person who was willing to do what was best, big picture, for the people in his country and the leadership nuggets he shares throughout are applicable to all those who want to make the most of this life. Inspiring! ...more
RJM  Dean
Aug 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing
What a terrific biography by a great man, Shimon Peres. Throughout his book, what I took from it was: have hope, be innovative, have the greater good in mind and lead bravely. Don't let history weigh you down. Create the new possible. If your gut tells you it's the right thing to do, no matter the opposition, you will win out. You don't need 100% of the information to make the right decisions (that's procrastinating); 55% of the information is sufficient and then have the bravery to lead on (rea ...more
RJ Deeds
Aug 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing
What a terrific biography by a great man, Shimon Peres. Throughout his book, what I took from it was: have hope, be innovative, have the greater good in mind and lead bravely. Don't let history weigh you down. Create the new possible. If your gut tells you it's the right thing to do, no matter the opposition, you will win out. You don't need 100% of the information to make the right decisions (that's procrastinating); 55% of the information is sufficient and then have the bravery to lead on (rea ...more
Alex Golub
This book moves quickly through Peres's life, beginning with his youth and immigration to Mandatory Palestine. It then moves through a series of successes that Peres achieved in his life ("the decisions that made Israel great"): the founding of Israel, the establishment of a nuclear program, Operation Entebbe, the privatization of the Israeli economy and the growth of tech startups, and the Oslo accords. The book is clearly written and vividly describes important and heart-wrenching scenes. Beca ...more
Reader Variety
Memoirs tend to tell one side of a complex story, but I though Shimon Peres here tells the story with balance, and in a readable format (both for style and length), and includes enough interesting detail to make the book interesting. I finished it in a day given the insights he offers, so of which I will list below:

- In order to get planes out of the U.S. (in violation of U.S. export restrictions), Peres and his U.S. backers set up a film company and claimed that the planes were taking off to fi
Omoniyi Animasaun
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to settle to read this book. It started quite slowly. But as I turned the pages, I was able to focus on the wealth of experience from a sage. This is a book of lessons. Shimon Peres early in life understood and found his purpose - serving Israel. And he chronicled and recorded most of the events and ideas that drove him to action.

From Poland to Israel, the narration highlighted how his being a Jew was ingrained in him and the survival and flourishing of his people was paramou
I learnt the name Shimon Peres, through an uncommon request, and I picked up his book during an unplanned visit to library. I consider myself fortunate for finding and reading this book.

I used to hear something like: reading a great autobiography is like making a friend with a great person. I’m so glad that I made role-model friend from this book. Shimon is such a venerable and amazing person. His life was full of inspirations and motivations to me. So many of the missions described in the book,
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The book takes you through the journey of Israel from it's formation, to becoming a military power to innovation hub/startup nation. Shimon peres has witnessed the journey of Israel from it's birth to current state and was a significant contributor in the journey. He talks about how Ben Gurion spotted him and how he was given some key strategic responsibilities. Book takes you through is journey of strengthening the military capabilities of Israel to protect the country from Arab countries, how ...more
Officially honest dishonesty

I thought of the title for this review after reading the Dimona chapter. I mean, even after Mordechai Vanunu spilled ALL the beans, or as much as he could about the reality of Israel having nukes, Peres can still stand there and say "nuclear ambiguity."

From a US perspective, sadly (but not surprisingly), Barack Obama rewarded this by giving a nuclear proliferator the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

And, Peres, besides not even mentioning Vanunu's name, "overlooks" that
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle
  • Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth
  • Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel
  • How the World Really Works: A Scientist’s Guide to Our Past, Present and Future
  • Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel
  • Son of Hamas
  • Every Street is Paved with Gold: The Road to Real Success
  • Catch-67: The Left, the Right, and the Legacy of the Six-Day War
  • One Man's View of the World
  • Tollak til Ingeborg
  • Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service
  • The Feast of the Goat
  • A Tale of Love and Darkness
  • Jerusalem: The Biography
  • Metro 2034 (Metro, #2)
  • Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations
  • Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness
  • Metro 2035 (Metro, #3)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Shimon Peres ( Hebrew: שמעון פרס‎‎; born Szymon Perski; August 2, 1923 – September 28, 2016) was a Polish-born Israeli statesman. He was the ninth President of Israel, serving from 2007 to 2014. Peres served twice as the Prime Minister of Israel and twice as Interim Prime Minister, and he was a member of 12 cabinets in a political career spanning over 66 years. Peres was elected to the Knesset in ...more

News & Interviews

Here at Goodreads World Headquarters, we tend to read a lot of books. Like, a lot a lot. And every December, as we finish up our...
61 likes · 35 comments
“If an expert says it can’t be done, get another expert.” 3 likes
“Far too often, especially under stress (and few things could have been more stressful than the Entebbe crisis), we turn inward and close down. Believing that distraction is the greatest danger, our analysis simplifies in hope of increasing not the odds of success, necessarily, but the chance we will be certain about what the outcome will be.” 3 likes
More quotes…