counter create hit Golda Meir: The Iron Lady of the Middle East - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Golda Meir: The Iron Lady of the Middle East

Availability: Ready to download

"The first female head of state in the Western world and one of the most influential women in modern history, Golda Meir was a member of the tiny coterie of founders of the State of Israel, the architect of its socialist infrastructure, and its most tenacious international defender." Author Elinor Burkett looks beyond Meir's well-known accomplishments to the complex motiva "The first female head of state in the Western world and one of the most influential women in modern history, Golda Meir was a member of the tiny coterie of founders of the State of Israel, the architect of its socialist infrastructure, and its most tenacious international defender." Author Elinor Burkett looks beyond Meir's well-known accomplishments to the complex motivations and ideals, personal victories and disappointments, of her charismatic public persona. Beginning with Meir's childhood in virulently anti-Semitic Russia and her family's subsequent relocation to the United States, Burkett places Meir within the framework of the American immigrant experience, the Holocaust, and the singlemindedness of a generation that carved a nation out of its own nightmares and dreams.


Compare

"The first female head of state in the Western world and one of the most influential women in modern history, Golda Meir was a member of the tiny coterie of founders of the State of Israel, the architect of its socialist infrastructure, and its most tenacious international defender." Author Elinor Burkett looks beyond Meir's well-known accomplishments to the complex motiva "The first female head of state in the Western world and one of the most influential women in modern history, Golda Meir was a member of the tiny coterie of founders of the State of Israel, the architect of its socialist infrastructure, and its most tenacious international defender." Author Elinor Burkett looks beyond Meir's well-known accomplishments to the complex motivations and ideals, personal victories and disappointments, of her charismatic public persona. Beginning with Meir's childhood in virulently anti-Semitic Russia and her family's subsequent relocation to the United States, Burkett places Meir within the framework of the American immigrant experience, the Holocaust, and the singlemindedness of a generation that carved a nation out of its own nightmares and dreams.

30 review for Golda Meir: The Iron Lady of the Middle East

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    Golda Meir-the redoubtable mother of modern Israel- was a great woman leader in the tradition of the Prophetess Deborah, Boudicca and Queen Elizabeth I of England. She was a great patriot and visionary dedicated to building, serving and defending her nation and people. Elinor Burkett has written a well researched, highly readable and interesting biography. It's one main flaw however is that the author gives too critical an appraisal of the basis Golda's strong leadership- a determination that nev Golda Meir-the redoubtable mother of modern Israel- was a great woman leader in the tradition of the Prophetess Deborah, Boudicca and Queen Elizabeth I of England. She was a great patriot and visionary dedicated to building, serving and defending her nation and people. Elinor Burkett has written a well researched, highly readable and interesting biography. It's one main flaw however is that the author gives too critical an appraisal of the basis Golda's strong leadership- a determination that never again will Israel fall and the Jewish people be defenseless and at the mercy of their enemies. When outsiders sneered that Golda had 'the Masada complex' she responded "It is true that we have a Masada complex. We also have a Hitler complex. We also have a pogrom complex". Israel was re-established in the shadow of the Holocaust, and hundreds of thousands it's first citizens were Holocaust survivors. Israel , fighting for survival since it's rebirth, has always lived in the shadow of genocide and a second Holocaust. In the last ten years in particular, Israel has been desperately fighting for her life, with so much of the world determined to hound her out of existence. With Israel's six million Jews comprising the world's largest Jewish community, and 40% of world Jewry, Jewish survival is still the issue. Israel's people face a second Holocaust on two fronts. On one front Israel is faced with a nuclear attack by Iran Israel is also under to pressure to accept into it's borders millions of hate-filled Arabs bent on the destruction of her people, under the fraud of the so-called 'Palestinian right of return' and with this artificially created Arab majority, to accept an imposed one-state Rwanda solution whereby Israel's Jews would be a helpless minority and be subject to Rwanda style massacres. Golda never wavered in her commitment to Jewish self-determination and independence in the Land of Israel. As she told the workers committee of the Hisdatrut (Israel national workers union) in 1946, after the British government had betrayed pre-state Israel's Jews: "Jewish life is precious but we do not want to be slaves to another nation...not only because every man wants to be free in his own country but because we have learned that for Jews living as a minority in someone else's nation is not real life and in the end in that position we would be killed...We need freedom to be independent". Golda was the President of the Socialist International for many years. She was more popular during the 1960s and early 1970s in Britain and Europe than any leaders of those countries. As Foreign minister of Israel in the 1960s Golda headed Israel's development and aid program in Africa. Israel became intimately involved with many of Africa's national liberation movements during the 1960s. Israel-now excoriated with the evil lies from Islamist, nihilist and Stalinist propaganda that it is a 'racist'. 'colonial' and 'apartheid' oppressor- served as a model during late 1950s to early 70s for post colonial Africa. Israel embarked on massive training programs in health, infrastructure, water, communications and education, among other things, and injected massive aid into Africa. Golda herself despised racism and when visiting Zambia, the tour bus she was on was about to cross over into the then Rhodesia to see the Victoria Falls, the Rhodesian officials requested that only the white people on the bus could disembark, Golda exclaimed that she could do without the Victoria Falls and did not see them. In 1973, most African countries, under Arab and Soviet pressure broke ties with Israel, in the wake of the cowardly Arab attack on Israel that led to the Yom Kippur War. Whether leading her people in the struggle against British colonial tyranny, representing her nation diplomatically (she referred in the wake of the Yom Kippur war to the United Nations as 'that high court of injustice'), the fight against terrorism or her commitment to social justice, Golda led with force of character and commitment which is inspiring today!

  2. 4 out of 5

    John

    Golda Meir was the first female leader of a western country and one strongly admired worldwide; I admired her too. Her grandmotherly candor, sardonic wit and steely personality charmed everyone. She was awfully tough to stand up to and could take the measure of any world leader of her day. There were parts of this book that were interesting but overall it just didn’t grab my attention, lacked cohesion and I was disappointed. The author also frequently sided with Golda’s critics or chided her for Golda Meir was the first female leader of a western country and one strongly admired worldwide; I admired her too. Her grandmotherly candor, sardonic wit and steely personality charmed everyone. She was awfully tough to stand up to and could take the measure of any world leader of her day. There were parts of this book that were interesting but overall it just didn’t grab my attention, lacked cohesion and I was disappointed. The author also frequently sided with Golda’s critics or chided her for her positions. Unfortunately, this book also brought back the shocking memory of that hooded figure splashed across our TV screens during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich -- Burkett covers it briefly. To me this was the beginning of modern day terrorism. 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were taken hostage in the Olympic Village and subsequently executed, almost in front of our eyes, by Black September a Palestinian terrorist group. Golda, in her wisdom, comprehended the significance of this grotesque event although her understanding actually came from earlier pogroms she had survived and Hitler’s Holocaust. The author accused Meir of having a Masada complex and so even writing this book in hindsight just didn’t get the picture.

  3. 5 out of 5

    J.W. Rinzler

    A good and fair assessment, as far as I know, of Golda Meir's life and work and how it played out in the creation of Israel. A remarkable story. A good and fair assessment, as far as I know, of Golda Meir's life and work and how it played out in the creation of Israel. A remarkable story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Kukwa

    Warning: this book assumes you have a passing familiarity with all sorts of events from Israeli history, and tends to speed over what doesn't directly involve Golda herself. With that caveat in place, this is a very detailed, warts-and-all account of an extraordinary woman, but one who could be an irritating. narrow-minded demagogue (and, in her personal life, a complete idiot) at the worst possible times. Fascinating is the best adjective for this biography, and for Golda herself. Warning: this book assumes you have a passing familiarity with all sorts of events from Israeli history, and tends to speed over what doesn't directly involve Golda herself. With that caveat in place, this is a very detailed, warts-and-all account of an extraordinary woman, but one who could be an irritating. narrow-minded demagogue (and, in her personal life, a complete idiot) at the worst possible times. Fascinating is the best adjective for this biography, and for Golda herself.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Annie Booker

    An interesting book about an interesting woman.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Clayton Brannon

    Well written authoritative account of one of the most remarkable leaders the world has ever know. Her name is synonymous with Israel. She aided in its founding and aided in the defeat of Israels enemies in three different wars. Who would have dreamed of a little girl from Milwaukee, Wisconsin rising so far and loved so much by her country and the world. Great biography.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shiela Rozich

    Would Israel be the country it is today without Golda Meir? Would Israel even exist if not for her? A very readable biography, in spite of heavy on the politics. Golda is a hero in my book, no matter what the author thinks in her conclusions!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Randi

    An interesting read about a fascinating individual.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Thea Van Den Berg

    A nice telling of an extraordinary life. The one reason I had trouble finishing it was that I did not find Golda to be a very nice person. But she was definitely formidable

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sara Goldenberg

    I liked it a lot. I have read several Golda books and this was the best. It was well-researched and full of what Golda was really like, not just names and dates.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rupin Chaudhry

    Except from political ramblings this was good read portraying the Iron Lady in her true element.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Fascinating for the accounts of the Yom Kippur war and the subsequent peace efforts. Otherwise, the text is in places overburdened by detail, possibly irrelevant but certainly disruptive, and sometimes slanted to the point where you question how objectively the rest may have been written.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rohitah Deshmukh

    I have always had a interest in story of birth Israel. I watched fair amount of documentaries about creation Medinat Yisrael so was very much aware of 6th day war, capture of Temple Mount and Yom Kippur war etc. I wanted know more about Golda's personal like apart from politics so I picked up this book. Well to be honest I was bit disappointed that I wasn't able to know much about her personal life. But I don't blame author for that as she had little or no life apart from Israel. She wasn't good I have always had a interest in story of birth Israel. I watched fair amount of documentaries about creation Medinat Yisrael so was very much aware of 6th day war, capture of Temple Mount and Yom Kippur war etc. I wanted know more about Golda's personal like apart from politics so I picked up this book. Well to be honest I was bit disappointed that I wasn't able to know much about her personal life. But I don't blame author for that as she had little or no life apart from Israel. She wasn't good mother to her 2 children but she was a good mother to all Israelis. Much like Ben Gurion Golda's life is all about Israel's story. I enjoyed her life story , very bit of it, it's truly inspiring and thrilling. In shorts it's a story of a girl who lived in Russia through fear of pogroms and watch her father helpless to protect them. Then moved to USA started as a chaverim in Milwaukee become obsessed with Zionism. And decided to return to biblical home of Jewish people. And then devoted her whole life for socialist Utopian Israel. And eventually became of the signatories of Declaration of Independence. The way she guided Israel through Yom Kippur war and aftermath is just incredible. Specially when macho general like Moshe Dayan had collapsed completely. And also she was suffering from serious health issues at same time. I think it is harsh that she blamed for not signing peace treaty. I think at that time in 1973 that was just not possible. And then Menachem Begin and Sadaat to get Nobel peace price was just joke. In her language they both should have got oscars instead. Anyways also the quotes at beginning of chapter are awesome part of book. Certainly this is one of those book I will always be greatfu to have read it. 5 stars for Golda but 3.5 for Book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I'm liking it so far / well written. I was suprised to read that Golda spent so little time in Milwaukee, as I'd read in some of my grandmother's memoirs that Golda and she had attended the same high school (Milwaukee North Division High, my grandmother several years behind Golda), and that Grandma had also frequented the library where Golda worked (not sure if at same time as Golda actually worked there). 7/9/08 update - had to run into the library yesterday to renew, as my library card had expir I'm liking it so far / well written. I was suprised to read that Golda spent so little time in Milwaukee, as I'd read in some of my grandmother's memoirs that Golda and she had attended the same high school (Milwaukee North Division High, my grandmother several years behind Golda), and that Grandma had also frequented the library where Golda worked (not sure if at same time as Golda actually worked there). 7/9/08 update - had to run into the library yesterday to renew, as my library card had expired and I couldn't renew online. Also took back in the two other books which I'd checked out along with Golda that I simply have not gotten to yet, as I've still an INCH of Golda to read, and enjoying it. So I turned these other two books in, had the lady renew Golda, and she says "oh, you have an interlibrary loan book that's arrived." I was so bummed - wanted to read this other thing, but I am liking / committed to Golda and just had the libarian return the interlibrary loan book too. 7/14/08 Finished last night; my interest started to wane toward the end of the book. The 1970 - 1973 time period got a little jumbled IMHO, but worth pushing through to the end. Definitely gives an interesting view on the creation of the Israeli state and why the "peace process" with the Arab states and the Palestinians is such a jumbled mess. Worth the read for history buffs in particular.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Golda Meir, the outspoken Jewish activist and fourth prime minister of Israel, left behind very little personal documentation from which to assess her legacy. She left no diaries or letters and was a reluctant interview subject. Certainly, we can try to imagine what it was like to be Golda Meir, and this book does an adequate job of explaining how Meir coped with a variety of personal struggles: her unhappy childhood, a failed marriage, covert love affairs, estrangement from her children and sib Golda Meir, the outspoken Jewish activist and fourth prime minister of Israel, left behind very little personal documentation from which to assess her legacy. She left no diaries or letters and was a reluctant interview subject. Certainly, we can try to imagine what it was like to be Golda Meir, and this book does an adequate job of explaining how Meir coped with a variety of personal struggles: her unhappy childhood, a failed marriage, covert love affairs, estrangement from her children and siblings, and chronic illness. But this drama is mostly inferred, pieced together from third-party interviews and researcher speculation. The book does, however, provide strong in-depth coverage of Meir’s professional life, her contributions to the founding of the Israeli state and her leadership through its turbulent early decades. There are new new insights—the information presented here is already well documented elsewhere—but the writing is good and the story is engaging. If you’re interested in the history of Israel, it’s definitely worth picking this up.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elliot Ratzman

    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 th 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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bev

    Excellent book, the author has told the story mostly in dialogue from Golda, dialogue she acquired from spending hours interviewing everyone she could find who knew Golda. It gave me the information I wanted, a feeling of her personality, decision making, way she related to people, people she worked with and of course her history. Helped me understand the Arab Israel problem and why she was so obsessed with Zionism and all the forces within and without Israel she dealt with. Especially intereste Excellent book, the author has told the story mostly in dialogue from Golda, dialogue she acquired from spending hours interviewing everyone she could find who knew Golda. It gave me the information I wanted, a feeling of her personality, decision making, way she related to people, people she worked with and of course her history. Helped me understand the Arab Israel problem and why she was so obsessed with Zionism and all the forces within and without Israel she dealt with. Especially interested in how the United States treated her, thinking she was a pushover when she was anything else. In the end there was the Yon Kipper war and people turning against her when the trouble really wasn't her fault. She stood up well, did her best and resigned when she felt that was best and regained her position and worked hard in spite of fatally serious health problems, having to have cobalt treatments at 6 a.m. and then working hard as nothing was wrong. Extremely interesting read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I read this book at the recommendation of a family friend who admonished me for not knowing who Golda Meir was. This book was incredibly well-researched and gave me a solid understanding of Palestinian/Israeli politics from the 1930s through the 1970s. I was completely unaware of Golda Meir's reputation, gained (largely unfairly) after the Yom Kippur War, as a stubborn and arrogant leader that delayed the peace with Egypt that was ultimately attained in 1979. Reading such an in-depth work about I read this book at the recommendation of a family friend who admonished me for not knowing who Golda Meir was. This book was incredibly well-researched and gave me a solid understanding of Palestinian/Israeli politics from the 1930s through the 1970s. I was completely unaware of Golda Meir's reputation, gained (largely unfairly) after the Yom Kippur War, as a stubborn and arrogant leader that delayed the peace with Egypt that was ultimately attained in 1979. Reading such an in-depth work about Meir's political battles was enlightening and led me to believe that she was, at heart, a dove who did the hard work making the peace treaty possible that Menache Begin ultimately took credit for. Perhaps the most interesting information from this era of politics in this book came from Anwar Sadat himself who said that he believed Golda would have achieved a greater peace than Begin ultimately did had she still been prime minister when the treaty was signed.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Golda is my homegirl from Milwaukee, so I had to pick up this book. (I also liked when Eleanor Burkett said on Fresh Air that Golda would not have had much respect for the accomplishments of Hillary because she was against nepotism.) News to me was that Golda's kids (and pretty much everyone else) thought she was a really bad mom because of her career. I found that tough to take but oddly satisfying to know now that social conservatives are finding themselves having to defend Sarah Palin against Golda is my homegirl from Milwaukee, so I had to pick up this book. (I also liked when Eleanor Burkett said on Fresh Air that Golda would not have had much respect for the accomplishments of Hillary because she was against nepotism.) News to me was that Golda's kids (and pretty much everyone else) thought she was a really bad mom because of her career. I found that tough to take but oddly satisfying to know now that social conservatives are finding themselves having to defend Sarah Palin against themselves on same front.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mariana

    currently reading this one as i recently got onto a non-fiction biography kick (it came down to this or henry the eighth and i figured jew trumps wife killer any day). It is well written and has a lot of personal details that I never knew needed admiring. It is also really honest, as it does not canonize nor criticize, but instead gives a reverent account of a powerful and wise woman. Burkett admits to Golda's faults, idiosyncrasies, and errors in judgment, but i believe this only serves to make currently reading this one as i recently got onto a non-fiction biography kick (it came down to this or henry the eighth and i figured jew trumps wife killer any day). It is well written and has a lot of personal details that I never knew needed admiring. It is also really honest, as it does not canonize nor criticize, but instead gives a reverent account of a powerful and wise woman. Burkett admits to Golda's faults, idiosyncrasies, and errors in judgment, but i believe this only serves to make the amazing woman more accessible. excellent book for the zionist in all of us.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    The political maneuvering and infighting is exhausting to read about. Can't imagine what it was like to experience it. It is remarkable that a country was built from nothing with little support from the outside world(except when it fit the politcal goals of other countries) and and direct threats from immediate neighbors. Although Golda never realized her dream of a socialist Israel she gave her life to creating a viable nation. She gave up a personal/famiy life to do so. Very readable and fasci The political maneuvering and infighting is exhausting to read about. Can't imagine what it was like to experience it. It is remarkable that a country was built from nothing with little support from the outside world(except when it fit the politcal goals of other countries) and and direct threats from immediate neighbors. Although Golda never realized her dream of a socialist Israel she gave her life to creating a viable nation. She gave up a personal/famiy life to do so. Very readable and fascinating.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    What a fascinating woman! I learned a lot about Golda and the crazy time in which she lived. I've always been fascinated by the Middle East but I'm embarrassed to say I really didn't know much about this integral piece of the puzzle. I learned a lot about Golda's Zionism--which differed greatly from my understanding of the concept. I was surprised that you could be a fervent Zionist and have no religious feelings. An entirely political Zionism. News to me! Interesting read... What a fascinating woman! I learned a lot about Golda and the crazy time in which she lived. I've always been fascinated by the Middle East but I'm embarrassed to say I really didn't know much about this integral piece of the puzzle. I learned a lot about Golda's Zionism--which differed greatly from my understanding of the concept. I was surprised that you could be a fervent Zionist and have no religious feelings. An entirely political Zionism. News to me! Interesting read...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Linda Bentzen

    Golda Meir was the first female head of state in the Western world. She was also one of the most influential women in modern history. This biography of her tells us of her demeanor, how she was admired or not by various people of government, what she was best at, and how she became head of state. It was very eye-opening for me. It is an interesting story. It makes me wonder how much more successful she would have been with more education and a slighly different personality.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    Read it before a trip to Israel. I wanted to get some context into the history of the country and felt that reading about its first women prime minister would be a good start. The details in the book provide a unique perspective to the various crises surrounding Israel. I felt that Golda as a prime minister was ok, but nothing necessarily memorable happened. During my travels to Israel there was barely any talk of her, but much more talk about Ben Gurion.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Absolutely PHENOMENAL! What an amazing woman who did so much for the State of Israel, Jews and the world. This book did not read at all like a biography, but instead like an amazing portrait of one of the most influential political leaders in the world in the 20th century. I recommend this to EVERYONE!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    I read this book when I was in Isreal. I agree with Kelly who said: Absolutely PHENOMENAL! What an amazing woman who did so much for the State of Israel, Jews and the world. This book did not read at all like a biography, but instead like an amazing portrait of one of the most influential political leaders in the world in the 20th century. I recommend this to EVERYONE!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    As a child, I was extremely fascinated with Golda Meir. I read many biographies about her. This new biography gives a more indepth, accurate picture of the real Golda Meir. It shows the many sides of the incredible, not perfect woman.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    Very interesting book. I knew basically next to nothing about Golda Meir except for major highlights. I like that the book didn't lionize her nor did it downplay her importance. I thought I got a real well rounded look at Golda Meir Very interesting book. I knew basically next to nothing about Golda Meir except for major highlights. I like that the book didn't lionize her nor did it downplay her importance. I thought I got a real well rounded look at Golda Meir

  29. 5 out of 5

    D. Ennis

    I really enjoyed this book. I've read several histories of Israel and they never fully explore Golda's role in the foundation and development of the nation. This is a very even-handed account of Golda's life and contributions. I really enjoyed this book. I've read several histories of Israel and they never fully explore Golda's role in the foundation and development of the nation. This is a very even-handed account of Golda's life and contributions.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tal

    One of the most interesting books I've ever read. Golda was amazing and the author tells it all, the good and the bad, to share her journey. I grew up during much of her era and lived in Israel during some of it too so the book brought back many memories for me. Great book. I strongly recommend it. One of the most interesting books I've ever read. Golda was amazing and the author tells it all, the good and the bad, to share her journey. I grew up during much of her era and lived in Israel during some of it too so the book brought back many memories for me. Great book. I strongly recommend it.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.