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Michael Goldfarb's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Michael Goldfarb recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Michael Goldfarb's favorite book recommendations of all time.


Open Closed Open

In poems marked by tenderness and mischief, humanity and humor, Yehuda Amichai breaks open the grand diction of revered Jewish verses and casts the light of his own experi­ence upon them. Here he tells of history, a nation, the self, love, and resurrection. Amichai’s last volume is one of medi­tation and hope, and stands as a testament to one of Israel’s greatest poets.

Open closed open. Before we are born, everything is open
in the universe without us. For as long as we live, everything is closed
within us. And when we die, everything is open again.
Open closed...
Recommended by Michael Goldfarb, and 1 others.

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A Tale of Love and Darkness

Tragic, comic, and utterly honest, A Tale of Love and Darkness is at once a family saga and a magical self-portrait of a writer who witnessed the birth of a nation and lived through its turbulent history.

It is the story of a boy growing up in the war-torn Jerusalem of the forties and fifties, in a small apartment crowded with books in twelve languages and relatives speaking nearly as many. The story of an adolescent whose life has been changed forever by his mother's suicide when he was twelve years old. The story of a man who leaves the constraints of his family and its community...
Recommended by Michael Goldfarb, and 1 others.

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Exodus is an international publishing phenomenon--the towering novel of the twentieth century's most dramatic geopolitical event. Leon Uris magnificently portrays the birth of a new nation in the midst of enemies--the beginning of an earthshaking struggle for power. Here is the tale that swept the world with its fury: the story of an American nurse, an Israeli freedom fighter caught up in a glorious, heartbreaking, triumphant era. less

Ben ShapiroA really terrific book. [...] It's sort of the history of the founding of Israel. (Source)

Stephen WaltExodus is a book that had a profound impact on how many Americans thought about Israel. (Source)

Michael GoldfarbThe book was structured in such a way that it dealt with the Holocaust and the politics of establishing Israel. (Source)

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The Old-New-Land

The Old New Land (or "Altneuland" in the original German) is a utopian novel published by Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, in 1902. Outlining Herzl's vision for a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, Altneuland became one of Zionism's establishing texts. less
Recommended by Amnon Rubinstein, Michael Goldfarb, and 2 others.

Amnon RubinsteinHe describes Israel in terms of 19th-century Europe, with luxury boats playing Viennese waltzes, taking Jews to Palestine where they all live happily ever after with the Arabs. (Source)

Michael GoldfarbThe book gives you an insight into the founding spirit of Zionism. At one point he even says that Arabs and Jews will get on as brothers. (Source)

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Great Britain ruled Palestine from 1917 to 1948. The British presence replaced 500 years of Turkish control and led to the State of Israel, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1998. The British brought Palestine into the 20th century: when they arrived the country lay in a Levantine nirvana; by the time they left it had become the arena for one of the century's major international conflicts. less
Recommended by Eugene Rogan, Michael Goldfarb, and 2 others.

Eugene RoganThe irony of the title is, of course, that Palestine was made, by the British, into a twice-contested land: between Palestinian Arabs and Jewish Zionist immigrants. (Source)

Michael GoldfarbBoth groups in Palestine had a major bone to pick with the colonial power – Britain. And there was a fair amount of terrorism from both camps. (Source)

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