Shelves: history , forgotten-struggles , middle-east Well, coming to the Middle East, I can safely say I knew nothing of the history of the Israeli State beyond the fact that it existed and mostly Jewish people ran it. Staying here in Bethlehem for over a month meant we got a great deal of the Palestinian perspective on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, but as far as the events that led to the creation of the State of Israel and the circumstances under which the Israeli Army eventually occupied those territories, no one was able to Well, coming to the Middle East, I can safely say I knew nothing of the history of the Israeli State beyond the fact that it existed and mostly Jewish people ran it. Staying here in Bethlehem for over a month meant we got a great deal of the Palestinian perspective on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, but as far as the events that led to the creation of the State of Israel and the circumstances under which the Israeli Army eventually occupied those territories, no one was able to fill me in. Less a plodding chronicle than a look at what happened from the perspective of eyewitnesses on the ground and in positions of diplomatic and political responsibility, the authors manage to craft a narrative that is quite gripping. It is most definitely written from the Jewish perspective, though a great deal of the research comes from Arab sources from within the city during the years and months leading up to the outbreak of armed warfare in and the creation of the State of Israel by a U. Mandate known among the Palestinians as "the catastrophe".
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At the age of thirteen, he travelled to America with his father who was a diplomat Consul General of France. He developed interests in travelling, writing and cars. Lapierre renovated a Nash that his mother gave him and decided to travel across America during his summer holidays. To earn his way he painted mail boxes. Later, he received a scholarship to study the Aztec civilization in Mexico.
He hitch-hiked throughout America living an adventurous existence, wrote articles, washed windows in churches, gave lectures, and even found a job as a siren cleaner on a boat returning to Europe.
One day a truck driver who picked him up on the road to Chicago stole his suitcase. He found the driver before the police did. His twenty thousand miles of adventure beginning with just thirty dollars in his pocket led to his first book A Dollar for a Thousand Kilometers.
It became one of the best sellers of postwar France and other European countries. They were married in New York City Hall on his 21st birthday and drove to Mexico in the old Chrysler for their honeymoon. The prize included a case of soup, which was their only food for three weeks. The honeymoon lasted for a year. When they returned to France, Lapierre wrote his second book, Honeymoon around the Earth. Collaboration with Larry Collins[ edit ] On his return to Paris after his honeymoon, he was conscripted into the French army.
After one year in the tank regiment, he was transferred to the SHAPE headquarters to serve as an interpreter. One day in the cafeteria he met a young American corporal, Larry Collins , a Yale graduate and draftee.
They became friends instantly. Collins took the offer from United Press and was soon picked up by Newsweek to be their correspondent in the Middle East. When Lapierre was discharged, he found work as a reporter for the magazine Paris Match.
On several occasions, Collins and Lapierre met while on assignment. In spite of their friendship they had to compete with each other for stories.
But they decided to join forces to tell a big story which would appeal to both French and anglophone audiences. Their first bestseller Is Paris Burning? In this book they mixed the modern technique of investigation journalism with the classical methods of historical research. After that they spent four years in Jerusalem to reconstruct the birth of the State of Israel for the book O Jerusalem!
Lapierre is proud that after spending a great deal of time in Jerusalem he knows each alley, square, street, and building in the Holy City intimately. Lapierre speaks fluent Bengali. Lapierre donated half the royalties he earned from this book to support several humanitarian projects in Kolkata, including refuge centres for leper and polio children, dispensaries, schools, rehabilitation workshops, education programs, sanitary actions, and hospital boats. Aware of the corruption in India, he organizes all his fund transfers to India in such a way as to ensure that the money reaches the right person for the right purpose.
The royalties from Five Past Midnight in Bhopal go to the Sambhavna clinic in Bhopal which provides free medical treatment to the victims of the Union Carbide Bhopal disaster. Lapierre also funds a primary school in Oriya Basti, one of the settlements described in Five Past Midnight in Bhopal. Passion for cars and travelling[ edit ] At the age of six, he developed a passion for automobiles.
When he was a Fulbright exchange student at Lafayette College, he bought, for thirty dollars, a convertible Chrysler Royal he found in a junkyard. Forty-five years later, he saw a photograph of the same Chrysler in a French vintage car magazine.
The automobile was about to be auctioned in Poitiers. He rushed to the auction, made a bid, and won it. When he was a student at the University of Paris , he acquired an old Amil car, which he and a classmate drove all the way to Ankara , Turkey. He has told stories about how he drove the car in reverse to have enough torque to get through the mountain passes.
Introduction[ edit ] The book is the result of five years of research by the authors, which also included several thousand interviews, and examination of a series of publicly available documents and relevant materials. These became the basic materials for presenting the story of the birth of the modern state of Israel. Part Three: A City Besieged has thirteen chapters. Part Four: A City Divided has sixteen chapters. The book begins with a prologue, and ends with an epilogue, index, and certain relevant information categorized under biographical note acknowledgements, a bibliography, chapter notes, and photograph credits. They came under official British mandate in by League of Nations approval.