To Win or to Die: A Personal Portrait of Menachem Begin

Ned Temko, Author William Morrow & Company $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-04338-4
This intelligent, evenhanded account by a former Middle East correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor sheds welcome light on the enigmatic former Israeli prime minister and his country's complex political history. Temko's lively work differs substantively from Amos Perlmutter's tedious, repetitious and often speculative The Life and Times of Menachem Begin (Doubleday, Nonfiction Forecasts, Apr. 10). Unlike Perlmutter, who depicted his subject as a repeated victim of depression and passivity, Temko sees Begin as a perceptive, inspiring, powerful politician who ""had always led by assuming responsibility for both victories and defeats.'' The author utilizes interviews with Begin's close political associates, friends and family members (e.g., Begin's older sister, Rachel Halperin) to create a vivid, often affecting personal portrait of the charismatic leader who had ``for reasons personal and politicalasked absolute loyalty from those around him, and given absolute loyalty in return.'' Photos not seen by PW. (July 13)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
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