A thorough if dry account of Shimon Peres' achievements for Israel. While Peres has only shared the office of prime minister...

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THE ROAD TO PEACE: A Biography of Shimon Peres

A thorough if dry account of Shimon Peres' achievements for Israel. While Peres has only shared the office of prime minister with Shamir, Golan, an Israeli journalist, lets us know that this unloved and unappreciated Labor Party leader has paid his dues. We read of this young devotee of Ben Gurion being instrumental in building up Israel's air force and nuclear capability. On the diplomatic front, the current finance minister is credited for the Israel Defense Force's crucial French connection before the US stepped in. We see Peres as crisis manager in the backroom intrigues surrounding the Camp David accords, the Entebbe hostage rescue, the Pollard Affair, and--stickiest of all--Labor Party politics. Despite the title, however, only the last 40 pages of the book discuss the intifada and Peres' long-touted but unpopular ideas for an international peace conference. And Golan's study leaves us hungry for a sense of Peres the man. What little we have to go on is not endearing. Young Shimon hated sports, but was also a poor student. The only hint here of passion in his courtship of his future bride is the description of a lonely kid singing the national anthem and reading from Marx's Das Kapital. Golan reveals that Shimon's anxious efforts to win friends and influence people were never rewarded: ""No one thanked him. In fact, as would be the case throughout his life, it was not just that he received no gratitude, but that he drew enmity and dislike."" Peres himself later complained that ""Many people think I am the type who pushes to the front of the queue."" Without the grace or personal skills of party rivals like Rabin and Dayan, Peres has still not reached the front of the queue. Paved with good intentions, but, like its subject, a biography that's easier to respect than to like.

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 1989

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Warner

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1989