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  You are in: Home > Jewish Studies > Yigal Allon  

Yigal Allon
A Neglected Political Legacy, 1949–1980

Udi (Ehud) Manor

Udi (Ehud) Manor teaches modern Jewish politics and is the author of over 30 academic articles. His book publications include: The Jewish Daily Forward (Forverts) Newspaper – Immigrants, Socialism and Jewish Politics, 1890–1917 (2009); Berl Locker – A Zionist Diplomat, Socialist and Optimist (2010 [Heb.]); Louis Miller and Di Warheit (“The Truth”): Yiddishism, Zionism and Socialism in New York, 1905–1915 (2012); and Making Peace with the Palestinians – Israel and the West Bank, 1967 [Heb.]).


Yigal Allon was a major contributor to the nation building process of the State of Israel. He did so from multiple positions he held in government. Between 1961 and 1968 he served as Labor Minister. In 1968 he became the Absorption minister and from 1969 to 1974 he served as Minister of Education. In his last role, 1974–1977, he held Israel’s foreign policy helm, encouraging countries and leaders to engage with Israel. Throughout his 17 years in government, Allon was a pivotal player in the cabinet’s security and foreign relations endeavours. From 1968 to 1977 he was also vice prime minister.

This fabulous career notwithstanding, his political legacy has been ignored. In 2004 a long anticipated biography of Allon was published in Hebrew by historian Anita Shapira, 24 years after his sudden death, when he was 62. However, this eloquently written and well documented biography only covered Allon’s military career to the end of Israel’s War of Independence in 1949. The 2004 biography ended by claiming that Allon’s next 31 years (1949–1980) – his political years – was not worth a historical account. Yigal Allon: A Neglected Political Legacy, 1949–1980 sets the record straight, and reverses the injustice of ignoring his multi-faceted political talent in the service of the State of Israel. This English-language edition is a revised and smaller edition based on the widely acclaimed and reviewed Hebrew version (2016). Allon’s perceptions regarding the Territories have been borne out; equally critical, he foresaw that government policies would lead to a decline in Israel’s international status, and that Israel would be held accountable for lack of peace in the region.

List of Contents to follow

“Udi Manor's insightful biography of Yigal Allon is much more than a fair minded study about the life and times concerning a member of Israel's founding generation. Manor places Allon in the often tumultuous context of Israeli politics, and is ruthlessly objective about his contemporaries, and their inability to take the steps necessary for a lasting peace in the Middle East. Readers will learn how much of what Allon predicted has unfortunately come to pass, They will relive the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur conflict, the ongoing strife between Israel and the Palestinians. Here is a history through Allon’s eyes, and it should be required reading for all who seek a just and lasting peace, as he did.”
Jonathan Lurie, History Professor emeritus, Rutgers University

“This is a comprehensive, fully documented biography of one of the founding fathers of Israel, which sheds light on some of the major controversies that engulfed the young state during the first decades of its existence. These controversies, in which Allon was a major player, include the place of Israel between the blocs during the early Cold War; Israel’s security, strategic doctrine and ‘nuclear option’; the question of Israel’s desired borders and the prospects of peace; and the country’s socio-economic makeup. A fascinating aspect of this rich book is Allon’s Oxford education and warm relations with leading figures in British politics and academia. Highly recommended.” Azar Gat, Ezer Weitzman Professorial Chair, Tel Aviv University

And from a review of the Hebrew edition
“Udi Manor’s biography focuses on the politician’s great contribution to the building and shaping of Israel in military, political, state and social terms. It looks at Allon’s time in government till his untimely death in 1980, at the Allon Plan for ending the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, at his work on social reforms and improving Israel’s international status. Relevant and important.” The Jerusalem Post


Publication Details

Hardback ISBN:
Page Extent / Format:
240 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Release Date:
June 2017
  Illustrated:   Yes
Hardback Price:
£55.00 / $74.95

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