Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel

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9780393242096: Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel

Winner of the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History and a New York Times Notable Book of 2015.

A riveting story about the murder that changed a nation: the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

The assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin remains the single most consequential event in Israel’s recent history, and one that fundamentally altered the trajectory for both Israel and the Palestinians. Killing a King relates the parallel stories of Rabin and his stalker, Yigal Amir, over the two years leading up to the assassination, as one of them planned political deals he hoped would lead to peace, and the other plotted murder.

Dan Ephron, who reported from the Middle East for much of the past two decades, covered both the rally where Rabin was killed and the subsequent murder trial. He describes how Rabin, a former general who led the army in the Six-Day War of 1967, embraced his nemesis, Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat, and set about trying to resolve the twentieth century’s most vexing conflict. He recounts in agonizing detail how extremists on both sides undermined the peace process with ghastly violence. And he reconstructs the relentless scheming of Amir, a twenty-five-year-old law student and Jewish extremist who believed that Rabin’s peace effort amounted to a betrayal of Israel and the Jewish people. As Amir stalked Rabin over many months, the agency charged with safeguarding the Israeli leader missed key clues, overlooked intelligence reports, and then failed to protect him at the critical moment, exactly twenty years ago. It was the biggest security blunder in the agency’s history.

Through the prism of the assassination, much about Israel today comes into focus, from the paralysis in peacemaking to the fraught relationship between current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama. Based on Israeli police reports, interviews, confessions, and the cooperation of both Rabin’s and Amir’s families, Killing a King is a tightly coiled narrative that reaches an inevitable, shattering conclusion. One can’t help but wonder what Israel would look like today had Rabin lived.

16 pages of illustrations

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About the Author:

An award-winning writer, Dan Ephron has served as the Jerusalem bureau chief for Newsweek and the Daily Beast and now lives in New York City.

Review:

“An illuminating version of the story...admirably concise and meticulously reported.”
- A. O. Scott, New York Times

“Exceptional...an electrifying political narrative twinned with an old-fashioned crime story―of the sort that ought to be taught in journalism schools for its restraint, pacing and expert creation of suspense.... The book is a Greek tragedy told in split screen, a frame-for-frame chronicle of a deplorable death foretold.... This tragedy ends, as so many do, with pride, suffering and fear on terrible display. It’s the flickering reel of fateful choices and desperate last moments that I’ll remember most.”
- Jennifer Senior, New York Times

“Incisive.... In a crisp and lively narrative, Ephron walks the reader through the assassination itself and its aftermath...[and] infuses his book with relevance by circling back to bigger questions.”
- Ilene Prusher, New York Times Book Review

“A clear-eyed account...captures the way politics in this young and tiny country are uniquely and deeply personal.”
- The Economist

“Striking...if the story of Yitzhak Rabin and Yigal Amir has anything to teach, it’s that individuals matter.... The opportunity that Rabin was trying to seize―however small―was there for a moment, and it may never come again.”
- Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker

“Carefully reported, clearly presented, concise and gripping...a reminder that what happened on a Tel Aviv sidewalk 20 years ago is as important to understanding Israel as any of its wars.”
- Matti Friedman, The Washington Post

“Vividly written and sharply insightful, Killing a King is an important and valuable addition to our understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
- Adam Lebor, Literary Review

“Riveting.”
- Ian Black, The Guardian

“An authoritative narrative that will serve as a valuable record of history. It is also a page-turner...practically every page carries the tense energy of fresh insight.”
- David K. Shipler, Moment

“Stunning...a chilling reminder that sometimes an assassin’s bullet really can alter the course of history. By unearthing previously confidential police and court records, Ephron gives us the definitive account of a fatal turning point for Israel. Killing a King is thorough, even-handed, and absolutely authoritative.”
- Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, and author of The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by Orthodox Jew Yigal Amir, twenty years ago this November, remains the most consequential event in the country s recent history. Killing a King relates parallel stories over the two years leading up to the assassination, as Rabin plotted political deals he hoped would lead to peace and Amir plotted murder. Dan Ephron covered both the rally where Rabin was assassinated and the subsequent murder trial. This deeply researched narrative is based on a trove of documents from the era and interviews with the key players, including members of Amir s family. Only through the prism of the murder is it possible to understand Israel today, from the paralysis in peace-making to the relationship between Netanyahu and Obama. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780393242096

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by Orthodox Jew Yigal Amir, twenty years ago this November, remains the most consequential event in the country s recent history. Killing a King relates parallel stories over the two years leading up to the assassination, as Rabin plotted political deals he hoped would lead to peace and Amir plotted murder. Dan Ephron covered both the rally where Rabin was assassinated and the subsequent murder trial. This deeply researched narrative is based on a trove of documents from the era and interviews with the key players, including members of Amir s family. Only through the prism of the murder is it possible to understand Israel today, from the paralysis in peace-making to the relationship between Netanyahu and Obama. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780393242096

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