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SHARON by Gilad Sharon


The Life of a Leader, by His Son

by Gilad Sharon

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-172150-2
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

The life and times of Israel's warrior leader Ariel Sharon, chronicled by his son.

The author, an Israeli columnist, debuts as a biographer with unique access to his father's documents and diaries, friends and colleagues and family memories. What emerges is a multifaceted picture of an Israeli patriot, military leader and family man. Sharon was born in 1928 in pre-independence Palestine and rose to leadership from the Haganah resistance, the precursor to the Israeli Defense Forces. The author recounts three phases in his father's career, starting with the rise of the paratrooper and antiterror specialist to military leadership, with the support of Israel's first Prime Minister Ben Gurion, and concluding with the leader whose contribution to the global war against terrorism transcended national borders. In the ’50s, Sharon was opposed by those with more formal training in the command structure. Later he ran afoul of the Israeli Labour Party establishment, with consequences for the conduct of the Yom Kippur War. The author also shows that during the Lebanon war in the ’80s, U.S. and Israeli policies were not always closely aligned, and that Israeli military objectives could be subordinated to U.S. global political strategies. Out of past conflicts came what Sharon and others considered to be “red lines in the sand”—no nuclear weapons in the hands of Arabs; no superpower-like balance of power in the area; preserve Israel's capability to respond to attacks. Documents highlight Sharon's relations with current leaders like Netanyahu, Peres, Tony Blair and George W. Bush.

Sharon’s son provides a solid template on which subsequent biographers will have to build.