Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

Book Catch Up

Portrait of a Spy: A Gabriel Allon story by Daniel Silva. One of the better books in this series about the former Israeli agent Gabriel Allon. Interesting characters, fast-paced drama. Fun to read.

Cartwheel: A LibraryThing Early Reviewer selection by Jennifer Dubois. This is inspired by the Amanda Knox story. A young woman is arrested for murder while studying abroad. It is interesting from the start. The central question, of course, is whether Lily Hayes did in fact murder her roommate. Lily’s case is not helped by her odd behavior. Or is the problem that her behavior is misinterpreted due to language and cultural barriers? It’s hard to discuss this too thoroughly without giving alot away. But there remain interesting ambiguities in the story and this is a worthwhile read.

The River of Doubt: Candice Millard’s portrait of Theodore Roosevelt’s expedition into the South American interior. After TR’s defeat in the 1912 Presidential campaign, he embarked on an epic trip to South America. This book depicts Roosevelt’s reason for making this trip, as well as the egos involved in the trip and the serious blunders that occurred along the way. Like many well-written expedition tales, even though the reader knows how the story ends, it is still an interesting and gripping drama.

I think I read a few other books since I last blogged, but none of them are memorable enough to write about. So now I’m all caught up!


Gidi:One Chasing a Thousand

This biography by Joseph Evron tells the story of Amihai Paglin, a seminal figure in the fight for Israel’s independence. Paglin was better known by his code name-Gidi.Gidi was a commander in the Irgun, which was a rather small underground organization dedicated to freeing Palestine from British rule.

Gidi helped to plan operations aimed at disrupting the British military occupation.  He was also a skilled mechanic and a fearless fighter. Chief among the operations that Gidi planned was the famous bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which at the time was the headquarters of the British in the Middle East.

Gidi is full of interesting and important information. For me, the best part of this book was the long section on the planning, execution, and aftermath  of the King David operation. Joseph Evron has done an incredible amount of research, and this biography is well-annotated.

Unfortunately, Gidi is not so easy to read, perhaps because it is so densely packed. It may also be that the translation (it was originally written in Hebrew) is not as good as the material deserves. However-I do recommemd this book to anyone who has an interest in learning about the beginnings of the state of Israel.

Many thanks to LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program for sending me this interesting volume.


Published in hardcover-Gefen Publishing-2009

Gidi. One Chasing a Thousand