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Avraham Burg

Nonfiction, 2007

A best-seller since publication in spring 2007, DEFEATING HITLER is the most controversial book to be published in Israel in years. In this despairing look at the Israeli condition, Burg warns that an increasingly large and ardent sector of Israeli society disdains political democracy. He describes the country in its current state as Holocaust-obsessed, militaristic, xenophobic and vulnerable to an extremist minority.

In DEFEATING HITLER, Burg compares Israel and Germany, harshly criticizes Eichmann's hanging, reflects on Judaism in the age of globalization and remembers his father’s house. 

Rights Sold:

France: Fayard; Germany: Campus Verlag (reverted); Holland: Ambo/Anthos; Israel: Yediot Ahronot Publishers Italy: Neri Pozza; Palestinian Authority: MADAR; Portugal: Tinto da China; Sweden: Daidalos; USA: Palgrave Macmillan


“This is an important book by a very courageous man. The shadow of the Shoah and its abusive application to the contemporary Middle East have been a catastrophe for Jews, Israelis and Arabs alike. In Burg's view Israel must move beyond Hitler's poisoned legacy. If they cannot or will not do this, the Middle East will never see peace and Israel has no future.” ―Tony Judt, bestselling author of Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 and Professor at New York University

“An Israeli-born son of Holocaust survivors, Burg addresses a heartfelt plea to his countrymen: remember the past, but do not be its slaves; pathology is neither patriotism nor statescraft.  A compelling and eloquent cri de coeur from a veteran of Israel's wars and politics.” ―Howard M. Sachar, bestselling author of A History of the Jews in the Modern World and A History of Israel

“Burg takes a blunt, loving, painful and desperately important look at the state of the Jewish soul today. Anyone who cares about the future of the Middle East and the fate of victimized peoples needs to read this book and think hard.” ―J.J. Goldberg, author of Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment and Editorial Director of The Forward

“This fascinating and thought-provoking book should be read by every person who cares about Israel. Burg's central theme is that Israeli leaders use the memory of the Holocaust in ways that are warping the country's soul, creating unnecessary fear, and making it impossible to achieve peace with the Palestinians.” ―John J. Mearsheimer, bestselling author of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy and Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago

“[An] assured and provocative polemic. . . . [A] lecture with much wisdom . . . worthy of global consideration.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“An honest reflection of a tormented man searching for the universal values in Judaism.” ―Le Figaro

“In this book of memories and reflections, the former Knesset Speaker delivers his disquieting findings about Israel that 'became a Kingdom without a prophesy.'... Foremost a book of hope from a man who wants to find ways to return Judaism to its universal calling.” ―Le Monde

“Short of being Prime Minister, Burg could not be higher in the Zionist establishment.” ―David Remnick, The New Yorker

“Mr. Burg...wrote a powerful book, an indictment of how Zionism and the Holocaust have been used.” ―Globe and Mail

“Avraham Burg has great faith in the creative power of argument. His book has already provoked much controversy and now that it has been translated is certain to provoke more. At a time when crass, catchpenny titles pour from the presses, it is that unusual thing: A new book that matters.” ―Neil Berry, Arab News

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