By the son and intimate confidant of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon comes an unparalleled look at the life and work of one of the world’s most powerful leaders. “A multifaceted picture of an Israeli patriot, military leader, and family man” (Kirkus Reviews).
From his youth as a soldier to his service in government, Ariel Sharon has personified Israel’s unyielding drive for security. He revolutionized the Israel Defense Forces and established the anti-terror commando Unit 101. His leadership during the Six-Day and Yom Kippur wars made him a national hero and propelled him into the political arena. As terror grew throughout the Middle East at the end of the twentieth century, Sharon’s commitment to protect and bring peace to his people underscored his election to prime minister in 2001. But within months of taking office, the 9/11 attacks shook the Western world—thrusting the controversial statesman into the center of international affairs.
Sharon has walked a fine line between waging war on Israel’s enemies and accommodating demanding allies, a balancing act that is often subject to public misperception. As prime minister, he built a fence to separate Israel from the West Bank’s suicide bombers; he isolated Yasser Arafat in his Ramallah headquarters; and in a stunning and unprecedented move, he withdrew Israel’s settlements from Gaza. Throughout his life but especially as prime minister, Sharon kept a meticulous personal record of events and of the discussionshe had with world leaders, including George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin, King Abdullah, Kofi Annan, Gerhard Schroeder, Jacques Chirac, Hosni Mubarak, Mahmoud Abbas, and others. But what the public knew of these interactions often differed dramatically from what went on in private.
Gilad Sharon, the prime minister’s youngest son and close confidant, has combed through his father’s vast archive—conversations, personal notes, diaries, daybooks, military directives, correspondence, and thousands of other documents—to offer a rare, intimate, and compelling look at one man’s evolution into one of the world’s most powerful and influential figures. Filled with news-making revelations, Sharon provides a rare view of global politics in action as well as a window onto the day-to-day life of a prime minister. A dazzling portrait of a legendary elder statesman and the nation he helped to build, here is a masterful biography and an illuminating analysis of modern Middle Eastern politics and the forces that have shaped this volatile region.