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History Israel

My Struggle for Peace, 3 Vol. Set

The Diary of Moshe Sharett, 1953–1956

edited by Neil Caplan & Yaakov Sharett

Indiana University Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2019
Israel, Middle Eastern
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2019
    List Price

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My Struggle for Peace is a remarkable political document offering insights into the complex workings of the young Israeli political system, set against the backdrop of the disintegration of the country's fragile armistice with the Arab states. Replete with the diarist's candid comments on Israel's first generation leaders and world statesmen of the day, the diary also tells the dramatic human story of a political career cut short—the removal of an unusually sensitive, dedicated, and talented public servant. My Struggle for Peace is, above all, an intimate record of the decline of Moshe Sharett's moderate approach and the rise of more "activist-militant" trends in Israeli society, culminating in the Suez/Sinai war of 1956. The diary challenges the popular narrative that Israel's confrontation with its neighbors was unavoidable by offering daily evidence of Sharett's statesmanship, moderation, diplomacy, and concern for Israel's place in international affairs.

This long-awaited 3-volume English abridgement of Sharett's Yoman Ishi [Personal diary] (Ma'ariv, 1978) maintains the integrity, flavor, and impact of the 8-volume Hebrew original and includes additional documentary material that was not accessible at the time.

The volumes are also available to purchase individually.

3-volume set (1953-1956):

Volume 1 (1953-1954):

Volume 2 (1955):


Volume 3 (1956):

About the authors

Neil Caplan is author of The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Contested Histories and of Futile Diplomacy, a 4-volume documentary history of Arab-Israeli negotiations. He is author (with Laura Zittrain Eisenberg) of Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: Patterns, Problems, Possibilities.

Neil Caplan's profile page

Yaakov Sharett is a retired diplomat, journalist, editor, and translator in Tel Aviv. He is Director of the Moshe Sharett Heritage Society and chief editor of a dozen volumes of his father’s letters, papers and speeches, including the original diary published in 1978.

Yaakov Sharett's profile page

Editorial Reviews

The wealth of material enhanced by Sharett's eloquence and per-ceptive eye turn the diary into an indispensable source of Israel's history in its first decade and for several aspects of Israeli politics, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Israel's relationship with the international system. In sum, the large community of researchers and lay readers interested in Israeli politics, Arab-Israeli relations, and Middle Eastern politics should be grateful to Neil Caplan and Yaakov Sharett for this herculean effort.

BUSTAN: The Middle East Book Review

All in all, the translation and production of this diary is a massive piece of work and a significant scholarly achievement. These diaries are a valuable resource for scholars interested in Israel and the wider Middle East. They are also an affecting monument to both the political career and the inner life of one of Israel's least appreciated leaders.

Middle East Journal

[T]he most important thing Sharett contributed to the state is the personal diary he wrote during his tenure as prime minister. It is difficult to overstate the importance of those eight volumes to the study of the 1950s and to the understanding of Israeli history as a whole.

Tom Segev

This excellent translated edition will help preserve the place in history richly deserved by Sharett—a moderate and cautious leader, an accomplished diplomat, and a believer in the gradual bending of the arc of history toward peace.

Journal of Palestine Studies

These diaries are a valuable resource for scholars interested in Israel and the wider Middle East. They are also an affecting monument to both the political career and the inner life of one of Israel's least appreciated leaders.


The editors did not merely edit and translate the text; they vastly improved on the Hebrew version by adding Sharett's speeches, reports, cabinet minutes, and other sources to the text . . . These additions make this work so important and welcome by all who aspire to understand the foreign and defense policies of Israel in its first decade.

Meron Medzini


A fortunate meeting between Caplan and the younger Sharett created a winning combination of access, translating prowess and scholarly and editorial skill to bring the diary into focus for English readers. To do this, they have supplemented the original diary with notes that cite private letters, minutes from cabinet meetings and public speeches, which further fill in the historical picture that Sharett meant to record.


The result is a gripping lesson in historical events, key figures and background context that offers a renewed sense of early Israeli political life.

The Canadian Jewish News

Other titles by Neil Caplan

Other titles by Yaakov Sharett