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DAVID BEN-GURION: A State at Any Cost

Tom Segev

Nonfiction, Keter, 2017

Israel’s founding father and the country’s longest-serving Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion left behind a host of political, social and moral dilemmas with which Israel still grapples today.

Previously unrevealed archival material casts new light on his power, skills and achievements, as well as his limitations, weaknesses and failures.

In the course of six years of research, Tom Segev encountered a leader fraught with contrasts: the romantic, poetic, sentimental Ben-Gurion, and a man who suffered moods of dark despondency and despair, at times on the brink of self-annihilation.

Many admired Ben-Gurion in his day, and many now miss his vision and inspiration, his boldness and integrity. Others have vilified him as an aggressive, divisive, dour and often capricious politician. But only a few have really grasped the most intimate and guarded aspects of his complex character, the man behind the myth. As in his seven previous books on Israel and the Holocaust, translated into fourteen languages, Tom Segev again offers a vibrant page-turner with unexpected discoveries and original insights.


Rights Sold to:

World English: Farrar, Straus & Giroux; UK: Head of Zeus; China: Zhejiang People’s Publishing; Germany: Siedler Verlag; Israel: Keter; Poland: Czarne; Ukraine: Folio

Optioned by Eliran Peled


"Tom Segev has completed a monumental task, the work includes the research of a true detective.” --Avner Cohen, author of Israel and the Bomb

"A State at All Costs" is a magnetic book, read with the fervor of a personal and national drama, who's hero is a phenomenal figure…. a multi-faceted portrait is created, dramatic, complicated, full of contradictions, that raises wonder alongside doubt, and even the occasional disgust." --Hanoch Marmari, review in Ha'aretz

 “In the previous few years, many books have been published about Ben-Gurion…. This book rises above those proceeding it, and delivers to its audience a fascinating read, a story previously untold…The writing is fluid, fascinating, chock full of details and anecdotes, and tells the historical story as if it’s a whirlwind romance or a taut thriller.” --Makor Rishon

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