Defining Moments: Stories of Character, Courage and Leadership

Beaufort Books  2006


Gordon Zacks is one of those people whose activities seem to be sufficient for several lives: a business leader who helped grow a company for five decades, a major fundraiser for the UJA and pro-Israel causes, a trusted advisor to Republican presidents. And, through those multiple existences, he has met many fascinating people. This book is a collection of meetings with a slew of them, from the Sharanskys to David Ben Gurion to Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

Each of the stories has several parts; first, a short biography places the background of the personage before the reader. Second, a story, usually one that played out in the author’s presence, and finally, a bit of wisdom that Zacks has gleaned from the encounter. Written entertainingly in a clear and concise fashion, Defining Moments strives to be a modern Plutarch’s Lives. Whereas, ultimately, the reader’s opinion will be influenced by his prior opinion of each particular dignitary, Zacks has been able to shed more than a bit of light on recent history. Appendices, index, photos.

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