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Golda – Review by Kenneth Ellman

A very readable biography of a very important woman and time, July 24, 2008

From Kenneth Ellman, Newton, New Jersey, 07860,
This is a well done and very readable book about one of the most important leaders of Israel and one of the most accomplished female political leaders anywhere, ever.
The fact that Golda Meir was born in Russia in abysmal poverty as many of our families were in the time of the Czar, then emigrated to and lived in the United States and worked as a school teacher in Milwaukee and then later became the Prime Minister of Israel should be beyond any one book to fully capture. However this author Elinor Burkett has successfully accomplished a reasonable and comfortable presentation of history recreating the place of Israel and the Jewish people and the life, role and participation of Golda Meir. It appears the documentation and research is carefully done.

Many of us remember Golda Meir because we lived during her time of conflict, most memorably the extraordinary 1973 war when Israel and the Jewish people were faced with tests and choices of the greatest danger and risk. When the then Defense Minister Moshe Dayan was unable to function and became incompetent (to this day I do not understand what happened to the mind of Dayan at that time) somehow this “Ich bin a Yiddischer tochter”, who had become Prime Minister of Israel a land in perpetual war, was able to lead the Country and People. There are many extraordinary events, which although previously known are again recounted in this book. Some of them may bring you to tears.
The story of the visits by Golda Meir as the then Ambassador to the Soviet Union from Israel, to the Choral Synagogue in Moscow during the time of the Stalin terror can leave you dazed. Tears and tears of joy are the memory of those Soviet Jews that haunts you. During one of her visits Golda Meir cried out “Thank you for having remained Jews”. As is well known the Jews paid a heavy price for having done so. By the way the above quote “Ich bin a Yiddischer tochter” was from the wife of the Soviet Foreign Minister as one of the last words spoken to Golda Meir before Minister Molotov’s wife was taken away and exiled to Kazakhstan.

This is a worthy and useful biography of a significant woman who accomplished many things and showed great leadership and courage in defense of her people whom I believe she loved.
It is unfortunate that political figures like her are all too uncommon in any country.
There is much to commend this book as an introduction to times and places not that long ago yet which are all too easily forgotten. It is very easy to understand, follow and enjoy. You will not want to put it down.
Kenneth Ellman, Newton, New Jersey 07860,