We Are Coming, Unafraid: The Jewish Legions and the Promised Land in the First World War

Michael Keren and Shlomit Keren, Rowman & Littlefield, $39.95 (200p) ISBN 978-0-7425-5274-6
Keren (War Memory and Popular Culture) and Keren assemble letters and journal entries of Jewish men who fought with the British during World War I, recruited from England and abroad and largely forced into service, detailing their hopes, fears, and the dreadful privation they faced. Upon entering a part of the Atlantic declared a war zone by Germany, one man wrote, "I know full well that I am in great danger, and yet it does not bother me at all. One becomes accustomed to every bad thing, and I am, after all, a soldier." Those "truly devoted to the mission" would be allowed to settle in Palestine, but initial excitement about the "Promised Land" gives way to a depressing realization that they'd been duped; settlements were marked by poor living conditions, little direction from superiors, and hostile neighbors, and yet, as one man writes, "I myself cannot believe that it is really true, that after striving for so many ears, I am finally in the land of Israel. Well, I am going to stay here." Through the intimate notes of these men, readers will share a journey wrought with fear, hope, and pride. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 11/22/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 200 pages - 978-1-4422-0550-5
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