Israel: Is It Good for the Jews?

Sold by Simon and Schuster
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A very personal journey through Jewish history (and Cohen’s own), and a passionate defense of Israel’s legitimacy.

Richard Cohen’s book is part reportage, part memoir—an intimate journey through the history of Europe’s Jews, culminating in the establishment of Israel. A veteran, syndicated columnist for The Washington Post, Cohen began this journey as a skeptic, wondering in a national column whether the creation of a Jewish State was “a mistake.”

As he recounts, he delved into his own and Jewish history and fell in love with the story of the Jews and Israel, a twice-promised land—in the Bible by God, and by the world to the remnants of Europe’s Jews. This promise, he writes, was made in atonement not just for the Holocaust, but for the callous indifference that preceded World War II and followed it—and that still threatens.

Cohen’s account is full of stories—from the nineteenth century figures who imagined a Zionist country, including Theodore Herzl, who thought it might resemble Vienna with its cafes and music; to what happened in twentieth century Poland to his own relatives; and to stories of his American boyhood.

Cohen describes his relationship with Israel as a sort of marriage: one does not always get along but one is faithful.
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About the author

Richard Cohen is the former publishing director of Hutchinson and Hodder & Stoughton and the author of Chasing the Sun, By the Sword, and How To Write Like Tolstoy. Works he has edited have gone on to win the Pulitzer, Booker and Whitbread/Costa prizes, and twenty-one have been #1 bestsellers. For more than 35 years he has written, edited, and lectured on numerous subjects around the world, from talks on the Queen Mary 2 to the First World War battlefields of France and Belgium. For seven years he was a visiting professor in creative writing at the university of Kingston-upon-Thames in London. Among the authors he has edited are Madeleine Albright, Vanessa Redgrave, Sebastian Faulks, Studs Terkel, John Keegan, Richard Holmes, John le Carre, Jeffrey Archer, Sir Harold Evans, Tony Benn, Barbara Castle, William Trevor, Kingsley Amis and Fay Weldon. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
 
For two years he was program director of the Cheltenham Festival of Literature, and during his tenure it became the largest book festival in the world. Five times U.K. national saber champion, Cohen was selected for the British Olympic fencing team in 1972, 1976, 1980, and 1984 and has been four times world veteran champion.  He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times Book Review and most British quality newspapers.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Sep 16, 2014
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781416584278
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
History / Middle East / Israel & Palestine
Political Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“Like swordplay itself, By the Sword is elegant, accurate, romantic, and full of brio—the definitive study, hugely readable, of man’s most deadly art.”—Simon Winchester

With a new Preface by the author

Napoleon fenced. So did Shakespeare, Karl Marx, Grace Kelly, and President Truman, who as a schoolboy would practice fencing with Bess—his future wife— when the two of them returned home from school. Lincoln was a canny dueler. Ignatius Loyola challenged a man to a duel for denying Christ’s divinity (and won). Less successful, but no less enthusiastic, was Mussolini, who would tell his wife he was “off to get spaghetti,” their code to avoid alarming the children. By the Sword is an epic history of sword fighting—a science, an art, and, for many, a religion that began at the dawn of civilization in ancient Egypt and has been an obsession for mankind ever since. With wit and insight, Richard Cohen gives us an engrossing history of the world via the sword.

Praise for By the Sword

“Touché! While scrupulous and informed about its subject, Richard Cohen’s book is about more than swordplay. It reads at times like an alternative social history of the West.”—Sebastian Faulks 

“In writing By the Sword, [Cohen] has shown that he is as skilled with the pen as he is with the sword.”—The New York Times

“Irresistible . . . extraordinary . . . vivid and hugely enjoyable.”—The Economist

“A virtual encyclopedia on the subject of sword fighting.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Literate, learned, and, beg pardon, razor-sharp . . . a pleasure for practitioners, and a rewarding entertainment for the armchair swashbuckler.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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