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The Hope: A Novel Hardcover – Dec 1993

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 693 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown & Co (T); 1st Edition edition (December 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316955191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316955195
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 953 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #591,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In the Historical Notes to this solid saga encapsulating three Israeli-Arab wars, Wouk makes astute reference to the element that gives the novel its considerable power: he refers to his "arduous personal research . . . which is one reason that my books appear at long intervals." Conceding the impossibility of using "cool perspective" about events so recent and often still hotly debated, he then clarifies which episodes in the novel are based on fact. These accounts of specific battles, behind-the-scenes political skirmishes in Israel and diplomatic strategy in Washington, D.C., provide the novel's fascinating historical background and true drama. Among and between his accounts of the 1948 War of Independence, the Suez crisis and the Six-Day War, Wouk weaves a story of two protagonists and their fortunes in love and war. Young Polish immigrant Yossi Blumenthal first distinguishes himself in battle in such a reckless manner that he is dubbed Don Kishote; he goes on to become a military hero. His first commander, Zev Barak, is "sidelined" into diplomacy and becomes an attache in Washington. Such actual figures as David Ben Gurion, Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir and others are depicted with candor and credibility. While his account is sympathetic to Israel, Wouk does not paint the Arabs with a tarred brush; nor does he put a false gloss on less-than-admirable episodes in the short history of the Jewish nation. Though his prose at times peregrinates into the pedestrian, Wouk has not lost his touch: this is an engrossing and often moving tale.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Wouk's newest novel covers Israel's history from the new state's first battle for survival in 1948 through its joyous victory in the Six-Day War of 1967. In the style of Winds of War ( LJ 11/1/71) and War and Remembrance ( LJ 10/15/78), it tells a story of relationships and human lives in the midst of political and social turmoil. (Notes at the back describe the actual events used as background.) The historical figures are here: Eshkol and Eban, Ben Gurion and Dayan are all woven into the fictional drama of Zev Barak, Don Kishote Nitzan, their families, and close friends. Sadly, Wouk's women are still "handmaidens of men," but the ongoing chronicle of politics, intrigue, and nation-building provides an exciting and involving adventure. This is good reading, sure to be sought by those who have read Wouk's earlier novels and enjoyed by many new fans as well. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 8/93.
- Marcia Dorey, Northwest Missouri State Univ. Lib., Maryville
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a dramatization of history, this book was wonderful. One felt what it was like to live there through those very stirring times, and perhaps best of all, the historical figures become very vivid. Suddenly, the names one has heard of from the newspapers become very real and true and fascinating. I did not know Israel's history very well - and this is a wonderful way to learn it. Sure, it's not about the Arabs - why should it be? an account of Americans over the same years doesn't need to include Vietnamese or Korean characters.
As fiction, this is pretty bad. It does retain your interest - but it's clear that at some point the once fine fiction writer Herman Wouk simply became more interested in history than in creating great characters and situations in fiction - probably while he was writing The Winds of War. (However, he has since written a few good novels set in contemporary times). At any rate, suffice to say that the characters are cardboard, their emotions aren't dealt with in a realistic way - and Wouk doesn't really try.
What he does want to do is to create a very truthful yet page-turning historical novel that teaches us about Israel through the 1967 war's aftermath - it moves and inspires and is fascinating and makes you want to read the next page. The history itself leaps off the page. So no, it's not anything like Faulkner or Proust, Mann or Melville, but you'll still find it a very exciting informative read - and want to read it again.
I did!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A little bit to much soap opera, but the way of telling the historical story of Israel made it a good read, to me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa26f73c0) out of 5 stars 257 reviews
68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa23d8090) out of 5 stars I suggest "The Hope" as a "must read" to be culturally literate Sept. 11 2005
By Michael Fair - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I frequently suggest "The Hope" and the second half of the story, "The Glory" as 'must-reads' for anyone who would like to understand where Israel is today in world politics. Wouk's other two great historical-fiction works, "The Winds of War" and "War and Rememberance", gave the non-history major a view of the history and politics of World War II while reading a fun and well-written novel. "The Hope" and "The Glory" give insight to the rebirth of Israel in the last 1940s and a feel for her tenuous survival since that time - again, while reading of interesting fictional characters interwoven with real characters and real history. As one who has spent 26 of the last 39 years in elective office and one who is a graduate level student of 20th Century political and diplomatic history, I rate Wouk as the most important historical-fiction writer of our time.

Senator Mike Fair

Oklahoma State Senator (retired)
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa23d82dc) out of 5 stars An enjoyable light Middle-Eastern story Dec 18 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I got from "The Hope" exactly what I expected to. An interesting tale backed up by solid historical events. The book is no substitute for non-fiction military history, but it does reveal the passion behind the founding of Israel. Mr. Wouk makes no attempt to hide the fact that he is a Zionist, so if you are looking for a balanced telling of the conflict look elsewhere. It is not that the book is anti-Arab; it is just that Arabs hardly exist at all. They are talked about, but never form characters.

The book does give a great insider feel that made me feel I could understand what was going through the minds of many actual and made-up characters that inter-mingle throughout the book. I would not call the book sappy, but it does spend almost as much time on the love life of the main characters as it does the political/warfighing events of the time.

The book takes a while to get going and never seems to be in a rush. The pace takes is time, so do not look for a quick read

Mr Wouk obviously spent a lot of time in Israel researching the book, and the feel for the different regions and sub-cultures really comes out. If you like history and are looking for something a bit heavier than beach books, but are not quite ready for a 1200 page academic tome on mid-east history than "The Hope" may be for you
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa23d851c) out of 5 stars An Amazing Novel Feb. 4 2005
By Zack K - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing novel. I picked it up wearily, thinking it would not be as good as other novelists such as Leon Uris or James Michner. This was far from the truth, this story is incredible. The novel tells the story of the beginnings of Israel right up through the end of the Six Day War in 1967. The one thing that I loved about this book, besides the stories being so vividly portrayed, was that all of the characters are so human. The reader can easily relate to not just a few of the main characters, but all of them. This is an amazing story, and I would reccommend it to anyone interested in a novelized version of Israeli history.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa23d8798) out of 5 stars An exciting workmanlike view of Israel's first 20 years May 17 1998
By dougrhon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although not in the league of "Exodus" The Hope is an exciting view of the birth and early years of Israel through the eyes of four military men. The book lacks the epic scope of Uris's masterpiece but does a nice job of weaving fictional characters with real life characters and incidents. Unlike Exodus, however, the Hope manages to show the day to day lives of these Israelis and toshow them as people not larger than life giants. The Hope also shows a little bit of how backroom Israeli politics worked as figures like Ben-Gurion, Dayan, Rabin and Meir play prominent roles. Well worth reading.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa23d8a8c) out of 5 stars Classic Wouk...Historical fiction at its best July 31 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First, the only reason that I gave this book 4 stars and not five was because it was not as good as War and Remembrance and Winds of War. That being said, this is an excellent book that I would recommend to anyone interested in a great story.
The book has the backdrop of Israel during the early years of its existence. By following individual characters throughout the book, we, as the reader, get to see the many different elements of Israel's people and their actions and thoughts during this period of time. From the deeply religious to the holocaust survivor to the American Jew, we get the different perspectives of all who were involved at this period of time.
Of course, we also have classic Wouk, the militarey scenes, the love story, and the entanglements that individuals have with regard to their personal lives.
This book was able to give a more personal account of the creation of the Jewish state. There is no better storyteller than Wouk and I recommend this book to all. If you are not interested in the political and ideological background of this novel, then I would atr least recommend that you read his Winds of War and War and Rememberance which are similarly written books with the backdrop of World War 2.

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