Yitzhak Shamir 1915-
7th Prime Minister of Israel
Born in 1915 in eastern Poland, Shamir emigrated to Palestine, then under British control, in 1935. Shamir joined first the militant Irgun Zvai Leumi, then the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel (the Stern Group), eventually becoming one of its leaders. Exiled to Eritrea by the British, he returned home only after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, spending the next decade in a senior capacity in the Mossad. In 1970 he entered the ranks of the nationalist Herut party, then led by Menachem Begin. In 1973 Shamir became a member of the Knesset, in 1977 its Speaker, and in 1980 Israel's Foreign Minister, Prime Minister and head of the Likud bloc (of which the Herut was the main component) from 1983 to 1992 (except for 25 months when he was Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister), Shamir headed Israel's government longer than any Prime Minister other than David Ben-Gurion. Yitzhak Shamir is married with two children and five grandchildren, and now lives in Tel Aviv.
"It makes a refreshing change to read an autobiography as
revealing as Yitzhak Shamir's compelling account of himself....
If Middle Eastern European politics are to make any sense to us
at all, the thinking of men like Shamir needs to be understood
and taken seriously."
- The Times (London)
"Extraordinarily vivid . . . Shamir's autobiography is
the engrossing and ironic story of his long odyssey from the
fringe of Jewish life to its core."
In his fascinating memoir, SUMMING UP: An Autobiography, Yitzhak Shamir has set down the story of his life. Shamir has been a notable figure in Israel's bitter struggle for statehood and an important eyewitness to the complexities ot its recent history. Insightful, and always controversial, he candidly discloses his own view of the intricacies of the peace process and present-day US-Israeli relations, as well as provides an inside look into such personalities as Menachem Begin, Anwar Sadat, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and John Major and into Israel's right wing, its origins, its philosophies and its heroes.
SUMMING UP: An Autobiography
September 8, 1994
288 pages; 2 8-page photo inserts