Abba Eban (Magill's Literary Annual 1978)
Abba Eban’s autobiography is evidence that the post-World War II era has produced leaders of the same caliber as the giants who dominated the tumultuous thirty years’ war which raged in Europe from 1914 to 1945. Of all the major political events since 1945, only the Chinese Revolution has captured the imagination and will stand out as much as the establishment of the state of Israel. While Eban’s story is familiar to historians, his lucid style, sense of humor, and personal involvement make his book a valuable document and an excellent introduction to the drama from an Israeli point of view.
Not least of this work’s assets is the opportunity it provides of getting to know Eban himself. By the end, the reader is left dazzled by the achievements of the man. A tireless worker with very high standards, Eban, as the most important Israeli diplomat, can justly claim much of the credit for the enviable position of international security which Israel has reached. With tongue in cheek, he writes at one point that as foreign minister he never received a dispatch from an Israeli ambassador reporting on a conversation in which he was bested. One might add that Eban himself rarely recalls a diplomatic duel in which he was touched. Nevertheless, the reader finishes this autobiography with the impression that Eban is a modest, sensible, and humane man. It might be said, however, that he would have done as well to have omitted the all too frequent quotations from...
(The entire section is 1981 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1978)
Book World. December 18, 1977, p. E1.
Booklist. LXXIV, September 15, 1977, p. 134.
Christian Science Monitor. LXX, January 5, 1978, p. 21.
Guardian Weekly. January 15, 1978, p. 18.
New York Times Book Review. December 18, 1977, p. 1.
Newsweek. XCI, January 16, 1978, p. 78.
Saturday Review. V, December 10, 1977, p. 56.
(The entire section is 35 words.)