Sharon: The Life of a Leader

HarperCollins  2011

Ariel Sharon as portrayed in this biography is a fervent Zionist, statesman, soldier, farmer, and dedicated father. The book’s strength and weakness is that his youngest son, Gilad, is the author.

As a confidant of his father, Gilad Sharon is able to give us an intimate portrait of the man most of us know only as an Israeli politician. Ariel Sharon was first a man of the land, Eretz Israel, and protecting her borders was his predominant concern first as a military man, and later as Prime Minister. Within the pages of this book one will encounter a personal side of Sharon that explains his love for his country and years of dedicated service.

Gilad Sharon draws upon extensive personal records his father kept and uses many interviews with world leaders to paint a revealing portrait. As a politician he could be tough but sought compromise when he felt it would benefit Israel. As a military soldier he could be a difficult leader who easily won the unconditional support of the men he led in battle, but seldom those above him.

This book is also a history of Israel from the early settler days until current times, but not necessarily an objective history of the period or the man. Therein lies its weakness, as his son attempts to build the foundation for Ariel Sharon’s legacy. More will be written about this fascinating and complex man, but for now we have a loving portrait by a loving son.

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