Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Book Review: Golda, by Elinor Burkett

"If only political leaders would allow themselves to feel as well as to think, the world might be a happier place."
~Golda Meir

She was the first woman Israeli Prime Minister.  So far she is the only woman who became prime minister in the state of Israel.

This book chronicles Golda's life from Milwaukee to Israel, from a student activist to politician, from prime minister to icon.  Golda was reckless, and worldly.  Married her husband but then run off with different men and with politics.  She was resourceful and passionate.  She stayed true to her ideals and fought for it no matter the outcome.  She dreamt of a perfect socialist Israel without crimes, corruption, and capitalism.  She labored for it but ended up disillusioned as poverty and unemployment increased, crimes were rampant, corruption was present in the government, and capitalism became the dog of greed.

Golda Meir genuinely cared for her people.  The experiences she lived through and witnessed has shaped her views, her policies, and who she was as a person but most of all as a politician.

Elinor Burkett has written an excellent biography.  She places the reader inside the events that have taken place and puts the reader beside the Iron Lady herself.  While reading this book I got to laugh with Golda and at her, get the feel of the victory they won, be outraged at some of the outcomes, be sad when her people were mistreated, cheered for her political stance, and be disappointed on some of her actions.

This is a biography that is neither sympathetic or apathetic.  Burkett gives the readers room to critique Golda, to hate her, or to love her.  There is no room for in-between.

Overall, if you love to read biographies and would want to get to know who Golda Meir is, this book is a good read.

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