Of all my books, David Ben-Gurion’s biography has been the most challenging to write. Israel counts among the most dramatic success stories of the 20th century, but today it still struggles with some of the problems it inherited from its founding father, including, most notably, the absence of peace.

Ben-Gurion did not believe that peace was possible. As early as 1919—almost 30 years before the state of Israel was founded—he stated: