A detailed examination of the lasting impact of a leader in the Middle East.
By Deborah E. Lipstadt ‧ RELEASE DATE: Aug. 15, 2023
Golda Meir (1898-1978) was a woman of action and a sharp wit. When Richard Nixon commented on Abba Eban’s appointment as her counterpart to his Henry Kissinger, she famously replied, “Yes, but mine speaks English.” When a British official suggested German POWs build military bases in Palestine during World War II, she pointed out that Jews were already there and in need of work. Meir held fast to a number of beliefs, including that the Arab nations were bent on annihilating Israel, the great powers were not to be trusted, and her commitment to the Zionist dream realized in a socialist context. As Israel’s sole woman prime minister, she defended these views against both conservatives and a generation of younger Israelis such as Moshe Dayan. However, her performance during the Yom Kippur War was heavily criticized. In her biography of Meir, Lipstadt wonders whether depictions of her as “stubborn” and unable to see shades of gray might not have been rendered as “firm” and “decisive” if she had not been a woman. In recent years, Meir’s legacy has come under criticism. Nevertheless, her commitment to her beliefs and her sharp wit remain an inspiration to many.
Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2023
Page Count: 288
Publisher: Yale Univ.
Review Posted Online: June 21, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023