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Testament: At the Creation of the State of Israel

Levin, Aaron

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ISBN 10: 1885183941 / ISBN 13: 9781885183941
Published by Artisan, New York, 1998
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From sterlingbooksofaltadena (Altadena, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Signed by the author on the title page. Introdluction by Shimon Peres. Beautiful and moving photographs. Fifty years later the true stories, told by those who were there. Oversize, U.S. only. Size: 10 1/2 ' x 10 1/2" Tall. Bookseller Inventory # 025492

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Testament: At the Creation of the State of ...

Publisher: Artisan, New York

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hard

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed By Author

Edition: First Printing.

Book Type: Oversize, U. S. Only

About this title


Look at the faces. Listen to the words. These are people who helped form the state of Israel. Shalom Masswari speaks nonchalantly of self-induced starvation, undertaken to make himself small enough to be smuggled out of prison in a suitcase. Zelig Gonen stands beside the bicycle he used to traffic a basket of Molotov cocktails across an Arab war zone. Eliahu Shavit crouches above the Jerusalem sewer holes he once crawled through as a saboteur, planting bombs. Munio Brandwein gazes at the olive trees he planted where three friends lost their lives.

In Testament, American photographer and journalist Aaron Levin heralds the men and women behind the founding of Israel on its 50th anniversary. Transcribed from interviews, sometimes translated from Hebrew, the essays that accompany each portrait in Testament tell of the extraordinary events that transformed everyday lives.

Along with the soldiers, civilians, and kibbutzniks who contributed to the independence movement, there are photos and first-person recollections of such prominent Israelis as former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Shimon Peres, and the former president of Israel and ambassador to the United Nations Chaim Herzog, now deceased.


Israel's story is etched in the faces of the men and women who as soldiers, farmers, nurses, teachers, and settlers wrested Palestine from Great Britain to create the state of Israel and have defended it ever since. Their tale is primarily one of war--with the British, to emancipate the state; with the land, to reap a harvest from the barren desert; with their neighbors, many of whom also consider the area their home. On the occasion of Israel's 50th anniversary, photographer Aaron Levin photographed Israelis at locations that were important to them during the struggle for independence and for peace. The black-and-white portraits complement snapshots of the subjects taken decades earlier at the same spot: Shlomo Hillel sits in an underground ammunition factory he helped build beneath a bakery in Rehovot; Ahuva Dunayevsky poses with a cat on the balcony from which she signaled incoming supply planes during the siege of Jerusalem; the late Chaim Herzog, a president of Israel, stands along the path he designed to smuggle supplies into the capitol; Leah Rabin sits in her office, framed by a photo of her slain husband. Each of these people shares a memory to accompany his or her portrait, but their faces, lined with experience, express much more than any words can convey. As Shimon Peres writes in the introduction to Testament: "Aaron Levin's photographs put a face on history, preserving forever the personalities who in manners great and small founded the state of Israel. The portraits speak for themselves."

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