History of Israel

Learn all about Israel’s turbulent history in these books at the Library.

A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel
By Allis Radosh and Ronald Radosh
The Radoshes present a dramatic, in-depth account of President Harry S. Truman's controversial decision to recognize the state of Israel. Allis and Ronald Radosh explore the national and global pressures bearing on Truman and the people - including the worldwide Jewish community, key White House advisers, the State Department, the British, the Arabs, and the representatives of the new United Nations - whose influence, on both sides, led to his decision.

A History of Israel book jacket

A History of Israel
By Ahron Bregman
This book examines Israel's turbulent history from the first Zionist Congress in 1897 to the present day. The driving themes of this masterly account are Jewish immigration, war, and attempts to forge peace between Israelis, Arabs, and Palestinians.

The Birth of Israel, 1945-1949: Ben-Gurion and His Critics
By Joseph Heller
Joseph Heller tells the story of the complex and often conflicting political calculations that led directly to the founding of the independent Jewish state of Israel in the aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust. Examining the positions of many competing parties, he explains how and why the charismatic David Ben-Gurion prevailed: by shrewdly maneuvering between radical extremes on the left and on the right, Ben-Gurion managed to steer a successful middle-of-the-road policy in favor of partition.

The Story of Israel: From Theodor Herzl to the Roadmap for Peace
By Martin Gilbert
Over 100 years ago, Theodor Herzl launched the Zionist Movement. They called for a Jewish State in their ancestral land, Palestine. Fifty years later, the State of Israel came into being. Israel was established so that Jews anywhere in the world could have a homeland of their own. Story of Israel contains approximately 30 rare facsimile documents of historical importance, some of which have never been published before.

Plowshares into Swords book jacket

Plowshares into Swords: From Zionism to Israel
By Arno J. Mayer
This history chronicles the Zionist Israeli quest from its origins in pre-Great War Europe. Mayer traces the development of political Zionism's primal resolve to implant a state for Jews in a Middle East of ever-greater strategic importance. Incorporating reflections on founding violence, sovereignty, resistance, terror, and religious politics, Plowshares into Swords is an absorbing, challenging narrative of Zionism and Israel in the context of world history.

A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time
By Howard M. Sachar
This modern classic and readable history provides readers with the full story of Israel from its early-19th-century ideological beginnings to the Lebanon war of 2006.

The Case for Israel
By Alan Dershowitz
In this impassioned book, Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz responds to Israel's vociferous opponents – and explains why Israel, while not perfect, is a country that has earned the right to exist and defend itself.

Israel through My Lens: Sixty Years as a Photojournalist
By David Rubinger with Ruth Corman
Rubinger is a Viennese-born Jew who came to Palestine in 1939 at the age of 15 as the Nazi persecution of Jews was intensifying. He worked on kibbutzim and served in North Africa and Italy as part of a Palestinian contingent during World War II. In 1945, a girlfriend gave him an Argus 35mm camera, and this eventually led to a long career as a photojournalist.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.