Haaretz Columnist Ari Shavit's New Book Enjoying Praise and Sales in U.S.

From the New York Times to the Economist, Shavit's book, 'My Promised Land,' has been branded required reading in 2013.

Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit’s new book, “My Promised Land,” is enjoying huge success in the United States. The book, which came out in November, has become a best-seller. It was also rated one of the 10 best books of 2013 by the New York Times and one of the 100 most important books of the year by The Economist.

Several leading literary critics have also deemed the book required reading and named it one of the best books of 2013. Leon Wieseltier, the New Republic’s literary editor, described it as an important and powerful work in the New York Times’ Sunday Book Review section. “This is the least tendentious book about Israel I have ever read,” Wieseltier wrote. “It is a Zionist book unblinkered by Zionism.”

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman recommended the book as well. “I can think of no better time for a good book about Israel — the real Israel, not the fantasy,” he wrote, urging both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama to read it.

Shavit’s book was also recommended by television talk show host Charlie Rose, journalist Fareed Zakaria and columnists Richard Cohen and David Brooks.

The book is due to be published in Hebrew in the spring of 2014 by Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir. It is also being translated into German, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch and Chinese.

“My Promised Land” tells the story of Israel through the life stories of various individuals. It opens with Shavit’s great-grandfather arriving in the Land of Israel in 1897 and ends with the 2013 election and the Iranian crisis.

Itzik Ben Malki