Auerbach’s Brothers at War Explores the Altalena and Today’s Implications: An Israeli Ship Destroyed By Israeli Soldiers

Brothers at War is Jerold Auerbach’s probing and poignant new exploration of the tragedy of the Altalena, the doomed ship whose arrival in Israel ignited Jewish fratricidal conflict only weeks after the 1948 declaration of statehood. This is the first history of the Altalena by a historian and the first to explore it within the context of ancient Jewish and contemporary Israeli history. The Altalena remains embedded in memory, Auerbach suggests, still framing unresolved issues of political legitimacy in Israel. [Available in print, as well as nine ebook formats linked below.]

At the dawn of the Israeli state, the tragic destruction of the Israeli ship Altalena — by Israeli soldiers no less — threatened to tear the new country apart, and has lessons still for Israeli politics and peace. The first full book in English on this fascinating event, it tells the story, and the present profound implications, of a moment in the birth of modern Israel.

Jerold S. Auerbach is the author of nine books including Rabbis and Lawyers and also Jacob’s Voices, books found in the Quid Pro library. His essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The New York Times, The Jewish Press, Jerusalem Post, Midstream, and American Thinker. Auerbach has been a Guggenheim Fellow, Fulbright Lecturer at Tel Aviv University, Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Law School, and recipient of two College Teachers Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is Professor Emeritus of History at Wellesley College.

Available digitally in many formats: Amazon for the Kindle and Kindle apps.  (Also in the Amazon UK and Amazon Germany Kindle stores.) Barnes & Noble for Nook. Smashwords, in multiple ebook formats, including Sony, ePub, PDF, rtf, and online viewing.

At Apple iBooks, direct from the iPad or iPhone. (Previewed and linked by Apple.)

At Google Play app.

And at Diesel Books, Kobobooks, and other ebooksellers.

PAPERBACK available at the general Amazon site, and at our eStore page (fulfilled by Amazon) as well. Look for it at other retailers too. Library-quality HARDBACK available from various booksellers, including the Ingram Catalog and Baker & Taylor. Look for it at Amazon and B&N online. Because of online discounting, the hardback often sells for not much more than the paperback.

Reviews of,  and Blogging on, Brothers at War include:

Chicago Jewish Star. Edward Alexander, in the JS magazine insert, offers a full review essay, calling it “a luminous and probing history,” with “deftness” in how “Auerbach explores the ramifications of this noisy, tenacious conflict of half-truths about Altalena….” Also at The Algemeiner.

Mideast Outpost (review by Rael Jean Isaac): “At first sight, the subject of this book, the sinking of a ship bringing arms to Israel 63 years ago, seems like a historical curiosity, of interest only to Israeli history buffs. On the contrary. This powerful, pithy (only 150 pages) book is as contemporary and powerful as a punch in the solar plexus. Nothing could better serve to give the lie to the repeated puerile claim of Israel’s President Peres that “there is nothing to be learned from history.” Auerbach prefaces his book with a quote from William Faulkner’s Requiem for a Nun. ‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past.’”  Review also reprinted by Ruth King at the blog Ruthfully Yours, and excerpted at Begin Center Diary.

Jewish Ideas Daily (story “In the Wake of the Altalena” by Elliot Jager): “…a succinct, emotive, and yet levelheaded summation of the Altalena tragedy. Auerbach frames his Altalena account as just one chapter in the continuing struggle for the identity of the state of Israel….” Further from YMedad at his blog: “It is a great and important read. So, read it.”

Featured in 8/4/11 editorial in The New York Sun, “Raising the Altalena.” And see Dr. Auerbach’s 6/19/11 column in American Thinker, “Remembering the Altalena.” Also the 6/23 Haaretz story on new efforts at salvaging the ship notes, by a reader in Comments, “The ship should be raised and placed in a museum to remind us of this tragedy of ‘Sinat Chimam’ and to prevent it from even happening again. Look for a book by Jerold S. Auerbach ‘Brothers at War’ for the rest of the story.”

Cataloging: ISBN  9781610270601 (hardcover) ISBN  9781610270618 (paperback) ISBN  9781610270625 (Kindle)