Battling for Peace: A Memoir

Front Cover
Random House, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 350 pages
One of the great statesmen of our century, Shimon Peres, winner of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize, has shaped the history of Israel and the future of the Middle East. In the seventies, as Israel's minister of defense, he engineered the legendary Entebbe raid against PLO terrorists; in the eighties, as prime minister, he saved the Israeli economy from near collapse; and as foreign minister, Shimon Peres is now a key negotiator in the peace accords that he helped bring about. In Battling for Peace, he tells, for the first time, the story of his amazing career. As we follow Peres from his ancestral home in Poland to Israel, from the youth village of Ben-Shemen to Kibbutz Alumot, from youth movement leader to prime minister, we are introduced both to a man and to a nation. A thoughtful, disciplined, and immensely resourceful young man, Peres was singled out by Israel's great leader David Ben-Gurion, who appointed him, while still in his twenties, director general of the Ministry of Defense. From this point on, Peres's life was inseparable from his country's history. Peres writes of his bitter quarrels with Golda Meir and Yitzhak Rabin, and of his great admiration for Ben-Gurion, Moshe Dayan, and Francois Mitterrand. He discusses the origins of Israel's nuclear program, and tells how he led the way toward the Oslo agreement, describing his secret talks with King Hussein in London ten years ago, and revealing how a chance for peace was thwarted by self-serving politicians and timid American diplomacy.

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An inviting exercise in autobiography by Israel's defensive foreign minister. Even before the current peace process and peace prize, Shimon Peres was known for his paradoxical traits: an optimistic ... Read full review


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About the author (1995)

Shimon Peres, winner of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize, has been president of the State of Israel since 2007.

David Landau is the author of Piety and Power: The World of Jewish Fundamentalism and served as editor in chief of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz from 2004 to 2008.

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