Maron L. Waxman, retired editorial director, special projects, at the American Museum of Natural History, was also an editorial director at HarperCollins and Book-of-the-Month Club.
The Book of Telling: Tracing the Secret of My Father’s Lives
After her parents’ divorce when she was very young, Sharona Muir knew her beloved father, an inventor, solely through their weekly meetings. Only by accident, several years after he died, did Muir learn that one of her father’s most important inventions was Israel’s first rocket.
Itzhak Bentov — “Invention-a-Minute Ben” as he came to be known after his emigration to the United States — was a member of Hemmed, a secret group of scientists charged in 1948 by David Ben-Gurion with creating weapons to defend the fledgling Jewish state. Working under great pressure, with attack always imminent, they succeeded with a combination of ingenuity and youthful fervor. In 1999, Muir attended a reunion of the surviving members, who painted a vivid and loving picture of her father and a part of his life she knew nothing about.
The book is a double telling — the story of Hemmed and that of Muir’s coming to know the father who hid from her. A professor and poet, Muir tells her personal story poignantly, but it is the little-known story of Hemmed, whose history is still classified, that grips the reader most. Notes, photographs.
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