An adulatory biography of Israel's first prime minister. In a political career that spanned over six decades, Ben-Gurion oversaw the flowering of the Zionist movement into the state of Israel and was instrumental in keeping the young country alive through its violent early years. The author presents both his public and private faces, though sometimes without transition--a summary of political events will be suddenly interrupted for some personal detail--and though she admits that he made mistakes, she never really criticizes (e.g., his teen-age habit of firing a pistol whenever he met a certain young lady is described with a chuckle--""The villagers started ducking whenever they saw him coming. Fortunately [he] was an excellent shot""). Meanwhile, Silverstein doesn't have much sympathy for Israel's foes--""the Arabs"" facelessly perform various acts of violence, Palestinian refugees get a single brief mention in the text (none in the index), the PLO not a word. More complete and balanced discussions of these historical events can be found in books such as Ellis' Israel: One Land, Two Peoples, and more detail on Ben-Gurion in Kurzman's definitive Ben-Gurion: Prophet of Fire, but less practiced readers may appreciate this briefer introduction. Notes, bibliography, a smattering of black-and-white photos.