Ben-Gurion: Prophet of Fire

In This Review

Ben-Gurion: Prophet of Fire

By Dan Kurzman
Simon and Schuster, 1983
544 pp. $19.95
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Probably no one will ever write the definitive biography of the titanic, complex character that was Ben-Gurion, but Dan Kurzman, an American journalist-historian, has surely come close to it. He has done an extensive job of research, going through letters, diaries and other writings, and interviewing hundreds of people who knew Ben-Gurion. The treatment is frankly admiring, and with reason; but alongside the courage and vision of Ben-Gurion, Kurzman also cites and illustrates his inconsistency, vindictiveness, intolerance and other less admirable qualities. He writes with dramatic flair, perhaps with some license, as he reconstructs conversations and goes into the details of his subject's private life as well as public career. His achievement is that he brings a great man to life.