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Publisher's Summary

Golda Meir was a world figure unlike any other. Born in tsarist Russia in 1898, she immigrated to America in 1906 and grew up in Milwaukee, where from her earliest years she displayed the political consciousness and organizational skills that would eventually catapult her into the inner circles of Israel's founding generation. 

Moving to mandatory Palestine in 1921 with her husband, the passionate socialist joined a kibbutz but soon left and was hired at a public works office by the man who would become the great love of her life. A series of public service jobs brought her to the attention of David Ben-Gurion, and her political career took off.

Fund-raising in America in 1948, secretly meeting in Amman with King Abdullah right before Israel's declaration of independence, mobbed by thousands of Jews in a Moscow synagogue in 1948 as Israel's first representative to the USSR, serving as minister of labor and foreign minister in the 1950s and 1960s, Golda brought fiery oratory, plainspoken appeals, and shrewd deal-making to the cause to which she had dedicated her life - the welfare and security of the State of Israel and its inhabitants.

As prime minister, Golda negotiated arms agreements with Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger and had dozens of clandestine meetings with Jordan's King Hussein in the unsuccessful pursuit of a land-for-peace agreement with Israel's neighbors. But her time in office ended in tragedy, when Israel was caught off guard by Egypt and Syria's surprise attack on Yom Kippur in 1973. 

Analyzing newly available documents from Israeli government archives, Francine Klagsbrun looks into whether Golda could have prevented that war and whether in its darkest days she contemplated using nuclear force. Resigning in the war's aftermath, she spent her final years keeping a hand in national affairs and bemusedly enjoying international acclaim. Klagsbrun's superbly researched and masterly recounted story of Israel's founding mother gives us a Golda for the ages.

©2017 Francine Klagsbrun (P)2018 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A thorough and absorbing examination of the woman and her role in Zionism and Israel. Lioness wrests Meir from the shadow of the Yom Kippur War and presents her life and career as a lens to examine Israel's challenges-borders, settlements, occupation, terror, and the social and ethnic divide between Jews of European origin and those of Middle Eastern origin." (Ethan Bronner, The New York Times Book Review)

What listeners say about Lioness

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  • Yaakov Har-Oz, Adv.
  • 30-12-2018

The persistent mispronunciations of Hebrew and Yiddish words ruined this performance

Horrific. Names that every American knows were misaccented (TEL-a-viv instead of tel-a-VIV; Shimon puh-REZ instead of PEH-rez) or mispronounced (HEEB-ron instead of HEB-ron) or both (POE-gram instead of poe-GRUM). Many words were mangled into incomprehensibility (yishuv as YIY-shove rather than yee-SHOOV). The first word of the Zionist group Poalei (supposed to be pronounced poe-a-lay) Zion – which comes up again and again and again – was pronounced Polly, as if it were the name of a parrot! It made it impossible to listen to the book.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 13-01-2020

Great Biography but a Mediocre Narrator

This biography was an excellent story of Golda Meir. I remember her when I was growing up in the early 1970's.

I did not like the narrator. She mumbled throughout the book. What's worse during the recording there were several instances of faint but audible background noises (like a dog barking in one place) that made the narrator sound unprofessional.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-12-2019

Worthwhile to read; difficult to listen to

The book is a worthwhile addition to the body of English-language biography of Israeli leaders. The author's highly detailed work presenting Golda's life before the prime ministry is excellent. Her treatment of Golda's five years as head of government is superficial.

The Audible-edition reader was inadequate. She was poorly prepared to read a book with Hebrew names and words on every page; she employs an off-putting vocal inflection at the end of most sentences; and she regularly puts emphasis on words that the author clearly did not intend to emphasize. Accordingly, I recommend this book in printed form only.

5 people found this helpful

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  • S. Blank
  • 26-04-2020

Thorough and exhilarating

I had read "My Life" and had been recommended this book. I was sceptical at first about it but after listening to it I feel that I got to know Golda Meir so much better as well as the context of Israeli history. Not 100% and certainly a loving portrayal but one can't expect perfect in anything. It was long but worth it.
Something which made me CRAZY was the narrator's utter lack of understanding of the pronunciation of names and places and words in Hebrew. It was very distracting and an important detail when dealing with text relating to a foreign culture and something basic in the preparation for narrating such an important text.

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  • Mike
  • 16-03-2021

Terrific story, terrible narration

I found it difficult to listen to the narrators rote, monotonous tone. She might as well have Been reading off her grocery shopping list. Great story but very hard to truly get lost and involved because if this flaw. Over and over again I had to rewind because I found my mind drifting. This is one book I should’ve read instead of listening to an audible

1 person found this helpful

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  • dudette
  • 07-01-2021

Horrible horrible horrible narration

This is an amazing biography, brilliantly researched and beautifully written. Please READ it! Do. NOT. Listen. to it with this narrator. She butchers every foreign word so completely that it’s hard to focus on the substance of the book. I have never heard anyone say POEgrum (accent on first syllable so the word resembles Pilgrim) for pogrom. Haaretz is Haretz like Harry but ending with -etz. It’s unbearable, I tell you. Tried to give zero stars and was forced to give one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Izzy Hirson
  • 03-01-2020

A wonderfully detailed version of her life

Very interesting book about the life of the most famous Prime Minister who was respected by the world leaders because of her simplicity in life but powerful in words. Without Golda there would be no State of Israel. She dedicated her whole life to building a country!
Too bad about the narrator whose sing song way of narration was very irritating.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Vladimir Gorescu
  • 05-10-2019

monotonous

The narrator’s tone and lack of excitement did not change in the first few hours of the book. I could not take it for the rest of the book, so I’ve returned it. Really too bad.

1 person found this helpful

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  • iGrisch
  • 25-08-2020

An amazing sumup about the life of Golda Meir

This book shows the reader the person behind the name Golda Meir. It’s truely an amazing piece! Must read

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  • Stacy
  • 06-05-2020

Long winded!!

I have a lot of interest in Israel history and military and culture. After listening to this I have realized I am much less interested in the politics side of things. This books is very long winded. I think it would have definitely been expedited 20-30%. Some sections were downright painful and then I started day dreaming. If you really love Israel early politics and understanding the various groups that coalesced and rivaled to create our modern parties in Israel than you may enjoy this more than I did.

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  • Mrs. P. J. P. Leishman
  • 06-06-2021

Extrordinary

Brilliant and detailed story of a life given for the love of a nation and its people

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  • Dr. Matthew Cooper
  • 07-04-2021

Learn to pronounce "Poale Zion"

This is a perfectly functional biography, it has no great insights or new to add, but is well enough written. But there is a horrible flaw in this audiobook. The "Poale" in "Poale Zion" throughout is pronounced "polly" rather than "poll". The word is used often, sometimes several times one sentence early in the book. Why doesn't the reader, seeing something that they do not know how to pronounce and having seen that it is used repeatedly, bother to Google up a pronunciation? Is it because they are lazy and unprofessional? There are plenty more mispronunciations through the book or Yiddish and Hebrew words. Even as a goy, I think they could have found someone a bit more kosher to read this.

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