• My Promised Land

  • The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel
  • By: Ari Shavit
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 20 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 19-11-13
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.7 (46 ratings)


Winner of the Natan Book Award
An authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today.
Not since Thomas L. Friedman's groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts: both personal and national, both deeply human and of profound historical dimension.
©2013 Random House Audio (P)2013 Ari Shavit
Show More Show Less

Critic reviews

“Shavit's provocative book avoids the clichés typical of some works about the Middle East, and the audio version benefits from Paul Boehmer's superb presentation.” (AudioFile)
“One of the most nuanced and challenging books written on Israel in years . . . [The] book’s real power: On an issue so prone to polemic, Mr. Shavit offers candor.” ( The Wall Street Journal)
“The most extraordinary book that I’ve read on [Israel] since Amos Elon’s book called The Israelis, and that was published in the late sixties.” (David Remnick)
Show More Show Less

Regular price: £36.19

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Buy Now for £36.19

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anthony on 13-06-14

Unsettling and challenging critique of Israel

An important book that deserves to be widely read and discussed.

The author, an Israeli journalist, structures his book around a series of key themes and explorations, each focused on individuals and their perspectives, set within the context of the unfolding political economy of Israel. We hear through this chronology about Zionism and the establishment of Israel, the aspirations and values, the challenges, and ultimately the different forms of violence perpetrated by early settlers against the Palestinian communities, the violence of surrounding Arab states against the fledgling state, and the violence of the settlers against a wide range of Palestinian communities.

This is a well structured, interesting but challenging book. It is unsettling and disconcerting. It throws up, time and again, dilemmas and decisions - taken between a so-called rock and a hard place. Decisions were made which allowed Israel to survive and in so doing undermined the rights and search for nationhood by the Palestinians. The rationale for Israel is presented against the backdrop of the Holocaust and the desire by Arab states to wage war, defeat and ultimately end the Jewish presence in the Middle East.

Chapters focus on a single issue explored from multiple perspectives - covering issues ranging from the Israeli Peace Movement and how it has been undermined to the Settlements and their ambitious and cunning establishment of a new locus of power and authority within Israel. We learn about the Israeli Palestinians and their dilemmas and desires, the Israeli nuclear capability, and the nightmares facing Israeli citizens playing a small part, each, in undermining the rights of Palestinian protestors and youth. We hear insights reflecting the views of key stakeholders - those engaged in establishing Israel's burgeoning economy which at different stages has flourished dramatically, the demise of the social contract and emergence of neoliberalism undermining the sense of community and social cohesion, the role of the nightclubs and sex and hedonism which is a tonic for the daily tensions and personal confrontations around the raison d'etre for Israel while its role in the occupation has torn at its values-base.

We learn about the ongoing challenges within the country and within the region, within the people and within its supporters. Shavit provides much food for thought, arguing in the final pages and along the way, that this past and the realities need to be recognised; that hard choices need to be made which represent an acknowledgement of the suffering of the Palestinians and agreed form(s) of compensation; the end to Occupation and Settlements; and the need to rekindle the human and collective values upon which the state was originally proposed; and the importance of a fair, modernised, transformed and reinstitutionalised democracy (my string of terms) in which all can live with their rights and entitlements intact.

Read more Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By D. Walsh on 14-05-14

Excellent personal and political history

Who was your favorite character and why?

The book includes interviews and anecdotes from some of the towering figures of Israel, past and present. The description of the explosion of Tel Aviv's clubbing scene, the changing opinions and lifestyles of young people and the consumerist nature of today's Israel all provide a perfect backdrop in understanding its current political situation.

What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

I personally didn't mind the Hebrew accent, his pronunciation of various names and places was perfect and made the recording feel more authentic.

Read more Hide me

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

See all reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By James on 13-10-14

Too important to be ruined by its narration!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I've withheld comment until I had a chance to listen to some samples of Paul Boehmer's narration of other works. In other contexts, he has a terrific voice and style. But this was a mistake - the faux-Israeli accent makes it almost unbearable to listen to, and undermines the content of this important book. As I was listening in my car, I almost had to pull over because I was laughing so hard at the pronunciation of "1936" - the "theerrty" so far back in the throat I thought he would choke. Over and over again. This during the "Arab Uprisings" - not the intended effect, I'm sure.

The irony is that the author himself speaks far better English than the narrator - a richly-intoned, articulate, British-inflected voice.

What did you like best about this story?

If all Israelis - and Palestinians - had a sensibility akin to Shavit, the two nations would surely find a way to coexist peacefully. He holds the remarkable achievement of the Jews in Palestine in perfect tension with its tragic impact on the Palestinian people. Essential reading on the history of this land.

How could the performance have been better?

See above. Really unfortunate. In that this is clearly a reaction many have had, the publisher should strongly consider re-doing the recording.

Do you think My Promised Land needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, just a new recording - same narrator, sans accent. Please consider it - this book is too important to be ruined by its narration.

Read more Hide me

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Jodie Futornick on 22-07-14

Horrible narration

What made the experience of listening to My Promised Land the most enjoyable?

The book is great, but the narration was painful. As others have said, I found the faux-Israeli accent distracting and a bit insulting. I won't say it ruined the book for me, but it did make it very difficult to get through.

Read more Hide me

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

See all reviews