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Judgment in Jerusalem: Chief Justice Simon Agranat and the Zionist Century

Lahav, Pnina

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ISBN 10: 0520205952 / ISBN 13: 9780520205956
Published by University of CA Press, Berkeley, CA, 1997
Condition: very good, very good
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24 cm, 331, illus., references, glossary, index. A visionary founding father of Israel, Agranat had a hand in every important legal and political issue to face Israeli society. Bookseller Inventory # 38885

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Judgment in Jerusalem: Chief Justice Simon ...

Publisher: University of CA Press, Berkeley, CA

Publication Date: 1997

Book Condition: very good, very good

Edition: First Printing.

About this title


Simon Agranat (1906-1992) was the third chief justice of the Israeli Supreme Court and a founding father of Israeli law. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, and educated at the University of Chicago, Agranat brought U.S. progressivism and constitutionalism to Israeli legal soil. Agranat laid the foundation for Israel's bill of rights and took part in nearly every important Israeli legal and political issue of this century. Pnina Lahav's rewarding study of Simon Agranat portrays Israeli history through the lens of judicial opinions. It is based on her extensive interviews with the justice before his death and a close examination of his papers. A major theme in her book is the relationship between Agranat's world view and landmark Israeli Supreme Court opinions, and she tells the compelling story of a visionary jurist and an American pursuing his Zionist dream in Palestine. Here, too, is an illuminating view of Israeli history and legal culture that includes the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Holocaust, the symbiosis between religion and the Jewish state, and the tensions within Zionism itself. Lahav also details the thinking behind Agranat's 1962 decision to convict Adolph Eichmann and the justice's dissent in the "Who Is a Jew?" case in 1970.

This is the first biography of the man who made both a geographical and a psychological journey from the United States to Jerusalem. In demonstrating the influences of one culture on another, Judgment in Jerusalem provides important insights into Israeli law and politics and into the complex processes that form a national identity.

From the Inside Flap:

"Pnina Lahav's evocative and masterfully written biography of one of Israel's greatest justices is a penetrating study of a country, a nation, a legal system combining ancient laws with modern concepts, and a dream turned into destiny."—Elie Wiesel

"[This] is one of the best judicial biographies ever. It is also one of the most acute and riveting depictions of the birth and development of Israel itself. Agranat, as Lahav writes, was to Israeli law what David Ben Gurion was to its politics. This book is worthy of him."—Floyd Abrams

"This is the best biographyI have ever read. Pnina Lahav brilliantly uses the life of Simon Agranat to illuminate the history of Zionism, the history of Israel, the history of law in Israel, and the history of justice. The result is riveting."—Laura Kalman, author of The Strange Career of Legal Liberalism and Abe Fortas

"A wonderful book that is not only a biography of one of Israel's most important Chief Justices, but a history of the development of Israel's Supreme Court and of Israeli public law. It includes a fascinating account of the trials arising out of the Holocaust. This is the first biography in English of a man who made the geographical as well as the psychological journey from Chicago to Jerusalem, and it is in part the story of the way one culture can be carried to another by a human being who ultimately is affected by both. It is well worth the attention of anyone interested in Israel, the development of law, the phenomenon of law developed in the absence of a written constitution, and the culture of human rights."—Philippa Strum, author of The Supreme Court and Political Questions

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