David Ben-Gurion is one of the most important political figures of the 20th Century. Born in Poland in 1886, he moved to a Jewish farming settlement in Galilee in 1906. For over forty years, he was at the centre of the struggle for Jewish political independence. He founded the Histadrut, the confederation of Jewish workers in Palestine, following the first World War, which became a central force in social, economic and social affairs. In 1930 he was named the head of the Israeli Workers Party and in 1935 the chairman of the Zionist Executive. Throughout WWII, he played an integral role in Israel’s development, heralding in the decade of “fighting Zionism” and campaigning hard for the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine.
In 1948, he delivered Israel’s declaration of independence. He became Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, fusing together the disparate underground militias into a single Israeli Army which successfully thwarted invading forces from Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. It is during this time that he earned the name “Father of the Nation.”
Throughout his career, he made meticulous notes on each day’s events. For years, these diaries have only been available to a handful of Israeli academics, but they have now been made available to the public. Private Journals 1947-1948: The Birth of the State of Israel contain revelatory letters between Ben-Gurion and world leaders such as Winston Churchill and Konrad Adenauer as well as speeches and minutes from crucial meetings with the British Mandate officials and the World Zionist congress.
In conjunction with the French publisher La Martiniere, who published Nelson Mandela’s Conversations With Myself, Curtis Brown is selling international rights in this historic book. In much the same way that Conversations with Myself gave the world a glimpse into the private thoughts of Nelson Mandela, these diaries will give readers never-before-granted access into the mind of one of the great political vanguards of the 20th Century.