Where Memory Leads: My Life
Saul Friedlander, a much-acclaimed political historian, takes readers from the disturbed and disturbing childhood years of his earlier When Memory Comes through his extraordinary career in Where Memory Leads. The Holocaust, which took his parents, led to Catholic protection and schooling until an emerging Jewishness as a teenager directed him to Zionism and active participation as the State of Israel was established. As a young man, he was appointed ‘political secretary’ to Nahum Goldmann, then the President of the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization.
A well-respected and popular professor, Friedlander has taught in universities in Europe, Israel, and the U.S., sometimes concurrently, held positions in high-power international academic and political organizations, mingled with leading scholars, not always amicably, and on first name terms with the early Israeli leadership. His writing has been recognized with numerous awards, the Pulitzer Prize awarded for his meticulous account, The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews:1939-1945, a culmination of international academic exploration and his commitment to German Jewish relations in the mid-twentieth century.
While the narrative of Where Memory Leads is enthralling, Friedlander’s style and humanism are equally beguiling. He discusses without reservation several years of mental setbacks, his depression and stress, the medication that he recognized allowed him to stay on top of an unusually complex lifestyle. Not least, the book is suffused with humor. Familiar with some half a dozen languages, Friedman chides himself, even with the book’s opening line, ‘How do you say ‘aubergines’ in Hebrew?’
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